It's that time of year again. Autumn. It's a great time to give yourself permission to fall, in love, out of a posture, while texting and walking at the same time. Ok, not the last one.
It's the beautiful cycle of life.
A few people and I were talking about the idea of surrender and how some words just freak us out and make us respond in the opposite way. I told one of the girls, I had the same problem with the word, relax. Like, relax Lady. It makes me tense up.
Sometimes, when you go to your regularly scheduled yoga class and you find there is a sub in your teachers replacement, there might be a bit of uncomfortability. Then, after a while, you find the sequencing and postures are similar and you can soften. Then, you might find the teacher saying the same thing your other teacher says but this time, you actually 'hear' it. You understand it and can integrate it into your body in a way, you couldn't before.
This doesn't make one teacher better than the other, just different.
I told the girl who had the problem with surrender, the story about when I did the trapeze in Santa Monica. I had taken enough lessons to do tricks etc., but I still couldn't do 'the catch'. All it was was letting go of one bar and reaching out at the exact time prompted towards the arms of someone else swinging on another bar.
Timing or maybe the teacher was just wrong for me, but I finally understood what my issue was.
I couldn't 'relax', 'surrender', or another definition I'm trying on, 'turn over' to another.
If we can change our idea of things, it maybe easier for us to understand.
The woman I spoke to got - 'the catch' in her mind and was finally able to understand in her body, what that meant to surrender physically and let the peace of a posture take over.
For me, I was able to turn over my stress to something else so that I could relax physically while driving in traffic or taking on a new challenge.
With a new season ahead of us, there is always the vata (wind) of change.
To stay grounded we need to root ourselves in the the surrender/catch/turning over of this season or more appropriately, new leaf!! Get it, leaf, fall...
Centering ourselves amidst the transition of warm to cold, introduction of newer, more comforting, wholesome foods, faster, more heating postures, more contemplative and reflective mindset; these are all difficult things to do if forced.
So give it time to adjust just like the weather.
Understand that it doesn't happen overnight and sometimes you need a new, different, substitute perspective on the same things you've been doing the last season.
When I was walking down Montana the other day and started to notice the first few colorful leaves dropping off the trees (we're a little behind the east coast foliage), I looked at each individual, they looked different but the same. They all came from the same tree and had these strong center lines in the middle with little branch lines coming out of them and turning into vibrant colors of red, orange, green, maroon.
Later that day, during the Sivasana point of class, I looked at all the students lying on the floor, some breathing short and heavy, some slow and steady. I saw their strong center lines and arms and legs of strength reaching out in different vibrant colors of energy. We are all such unique impressions from the same tree or studio in this case.
How alike we all are, in our differences.
And just like that, after all the years I've been teaching, I saw in a different way.
I could literally feel, the catch, the transition, the turning over of a new leaf and perspective in my teaching.
It happens every cycle of the moon, the seasons, the tides and beginning and end of a practice.
We are constantly transitioning. If we can stay steady in that and surrender to it, we will be in bliss and flow in the stillness.