Poet in Residence
Bodies and Voices
BY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST CARYN MIRRIAM-GOLDBERG
There’s little that feels as right to me as practicing yoga in a small room while the snow flies, wind howls and temperatures flee for their life outside. Stretching forward in Dandasana (Staff pose) on the slightly chilled yoga mat when right outside the window is a scene not fit for women or beast just feels, to mix metaphors, right as rain.
It’s not just like coming in from the cold, but coming to the center of the interior, the heart of the heart, while the world rages on metaphorically and literally all around.
In fact, the more I practice yoga, the more I realize that it feels so right in winter because yoga lands me so squarely in the season where I am. To be honest, when I do yoga in summer — the heat of the day breaking through my body even in an air-conditioned room — I feel this rightness too, not to mention the happiness of doing yoga in autumn and spring, and in all those in-between spaces when one season overlaps another and the weather suddenly changes on a dime.
In alignment with every season
When I stop the rush and pull of my mind and urgencies by giving myself over to yoga, I simply arrive where I am, and in that arrival, start to understand how this is precisely where I belong, where this weather belongs, where we are all in alignment with the unfolding seasons of the earth and our lives.
Continually, I find that yoga connects me with the air and earth, the temperature and pace of the wind, the cycle of the moon and heat of the sun — if not right while I’m bowing and rising in one pose or another, then immediately afterwards when I step outside or simply look at what is happening, my sight cleansed and bright.
A Chinese poet who was the head monk of the Lung-hsiang monastery in China says this best:
Ten thousand flowers in the Spring, the moon in Autumn
a cool breeze in the Summer, snow in the Winter.
If your mind is not clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best Season of your life.
So whether the weather in your window is icy or balmy, remember that this precious moment is smack in the center of the best season of your life.
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.