When It All Ravels

Un-rav-el: verb. To undo (twisted, knitted, or woven threads). Synonyms: untangle, disentangle, separate out, unsnarl, unthread.

Ravel: a made up verb. To do. (to bring together all the parts of your experience on the yoga mat). Synonyms: integrate. My way of describing the work we do when we come to our yoga mat. 

There was a time when I would go to a yoga class and treat it like a singular, separate, one and done experience. I would struggle, and push and go further in yoga poses than was necessary and safe. I was determined to get the work done that day. I didn't realize it at the time, of course, but approaching my practice that way was keeping me from what I was truly seeking. 

Consider this:

No matter what it is that brings you to your yoga mat (a work-out or a work-in), your work, your practice is to know you will not (cannot) get it all done today. What a relief! Yoga is a lifelong practice in which you get to explore, examine and consider what it is you are doing on the mat. Notice the whole of your practice. Notice that you are not your arms, legs, hips, core. You are not even a sum of these parts. You are that which sees, observes, and once this all ravels together it is magical. So take it all in. The full range of what you are feeling, the highs the lows, the plateaus - physically, emotionally. Let it all in to be seen. Your yoga mat is where you do not have to hide your weaknesses, you do not have to be ashamed of your tight hamstrings, you do not have to compensate for an old injury that is flaring up. Your yoga mat is where you get to inhabit your body and take up space without apology. Then when everything falls apart and unravels, because (life) it will at some point, you begin again and put it all back together. 

Use your asana practice to get into your body. Learn your rigidity, your mobility, your strength, stability, your asymmetry, your spaciousness, your ease. Do so with reverence and curiosity. When you've reached the end of your practice for the day, tidy up in savasana, rest, digest and integrate and then return another day.

PS: Note I did not say this is easy. I said it is magical and anything magical involves putting the time in and getting honest, which means it will likely get messy. That's the yoga. 

Yours in yoga.