I have practiced yoga for a long time. The motivation changes from day to day, and evolves over the years. Strength. Flexibility. Focus. Quiet. Ego. Insight. Eventually there developed an undercurrent beneath those hours on the mat. A difficult to articulate feeling of shoring up. A stockpiling of energy, effort, discipline for some future famine. In times of fear, anxiety, lean energy, emptiness, I open the jars of preserved prana, discipline, HABIT and feed my practice, my self, my household, the sustenance of all those practices that came before.
I am struggling in a world that feels like it has spun off it’s axis. So much is terrifyingly uncertain. Confronting the insecurity of life itself is not new. But what was introspective curiosity suddenly became stark and vivid suffering pressing in from the outside world. Life is ALWAYS precarious. We know it to be true, but shining the light of focus on it makes us deeply uncomfortable. Alan Watts said,
“the perishability and changefulness of the world is part and parcel of its liveliness and loveliness.” He continues, “life and Death are not two opposed forces; they are simply two ways of looking at the same force. For the movement of change is as much the builder as the destroyer…to resist change, to try to cling to life, is therefore like holding your breath: if you persist you will kill yourself. The only was to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”The Wisdom of Insecurity, Alan W. Watts
I am deeply uncomfortable a lot of the time. I am grateful for the stockpile of practice; the toolbox stocked with discipline, devotion, struggle, triumph, and time staring into the abyss. I make myself add to that pantry of practice now even when I have very little ration to share. The world feels very different. But is it really? Uncertainty and death and fleetingness and transience always existed. The current reckoning of that revelation is more immediate, more vivid, and much less voluntary. But digging within for the tools to confront it is not a new endeavor. To any of us. Yoga is the tool for which I have honed the most skill. It is all I’ve got. So, practice. All is coming.