September was National Yoga Month, and normally timing doesn't matter to me when community-wide events happen. I become aligned with the rest of my community, open and flowing in communal yoga bliss with great ease. This September, however, that was not the case. As of late, I have been woefully out of balance. I suppose it began with the soaring heights of joy and excitement I experienced early in the summer upon walking away from capitalist, Western pursuits to dedicate myself to the call of teaching yoga. I was feeling more expansive and sure of myself than ever before. As the excitement and action grew, I completely latched on to this idea of who I was "supposed" to be as a yogini, ever-smiling, ever-excited, never disappointed, sad or lacking confidence, instead of showing myself the grace to become at my own pace. When that initial excitement wore off, as can be expected in the natural course of things, it was followed by a series of emotionally grounding events that I did not accept with grace. I became discouraged and listless, grasping for my dwindling high and disappointed with myself that I couldn't be the "perfect yogini" (whatever the hell THAT is) every day, or even at all. The height of this negativity culminated right at the beginning of Yoga Month. I became careless with what I was feeding myself, comfort/stress eating instead of seeking mindful nourishment and looking at my yoga practice as a chore, not a tool for transcendence. Unsurprisingly, I became very ill. Chronic problems long dormant reared their nasty heads and I found myself able to do little more than lay in Savasana on the couch for two weeks. That gives a humbled yogini plenty of time to contemplate her choices with 20/20 hindsight.
Attachment had bit me in the butt yet again. It sneaks and creeps up on me when I am most distractedly happy. Detachment is certainly easier for me when I am in unpleasant circumstances, but in those moments when I am ablaze with joy, I want that feeling to last forever. Over the summer, I had a wonderful time experiencing the bliss of epiphany, but instead of accepting that moment for what it was and letting it pass away when it was time, I clung to it long after its expiration date. By not ceding my attachment to one moment, I denied the advent of new moments, new epiphanies and thus ensured my own suffering and imbalance. Who, besides the most advanced gurus, does not instinctively prefer joy to sorrow and ease to difficulty? A more immediately attainable goal than overcoming nature is to remember in the moment that my preference for comfort is not necessary to my own bliss. Never has it been more clear to me that to walk the path means to shun attachment by treating the great highs and the most crushing lows with the same regard. They simply ARE.
Essentially this long-winded post is me publicly recommitting to my practice of yoga and unity, body with spirit and the self with the whole. I know now that I can only approach this life with patience and unconditional love for my limitations. I am, in this moment, utterly grateful for such a starkly contrasted experience in attachment and I will carry it with me in the hope that I will not repeat it at such an extraordinary scale. October is my new yoga month, which will carry on to a yoga year as I commit the rest of my days to living a Yoga Life. Won't you join me?