Monday, June 22, 2009


Back in yoga teacher training, a big challenge was mastering transitions. A good yoga class flows from one pose to another with limited movement, allowing the students to maintain peaceful focus. Too much repositioning or jumping around gives the mind an opportunity to start chattering away, distracting from the meditative quality of the practice. At first putting together a class with good transitions was a daunting task, but, with practice, it started to come naturally. I love to come up with creative sequences that flow smoothly.

Triathlon training came with another transition challenge. I have to master leaving the swim and getting on the bike, then getting off the bike and starting to run. I've been practicing the transitions, hoping that on Saturday I'll be able to get my socks onto my wet feet and that I'll remember to take my bike helmet off before the run. Time counts, so these transitions have to be quick and efficient.

My life is in the midst of a big transition, too. Selling the house, moving to another state, changing careers, putting the kids in a new school - all these things need to go smoothly. Unfortunately, life is not as easily sequenced as a yoga class. There is no opportunity to practice the changes life throws at us. Sometimes there are glitches, and those can be stressful. Life's transitions also come with an emotional toll. Even though I am looking forward to the move, there are people and places that are hard to leave behind. This past week has had more than its share of glitches and good-byes, and I struggled to get through it.

adho mukha svanasanaImage by whatnot via Flickr

Like I have during all the stressful times in my life, I'm finding myself drawn to my yoga mat, even if it's just for a quick sun salutation before a run. Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward-facing dog) has been my favorite pose for the last few weeks. I like having my hands pressing into the mat, connecting me to the earth. I feel grounded and stable in down dog, even while the rest of my life is up in the air. My kids like to do double down dog, which really feels great and gives us a chance to have some fun together (and builds some trust, too).

When I look back on 2009, I'm hoping to see a time when I met the challenges of transition with grace and strength, and not too many tears or tantrums. I'm heading into the second half of the year looking forward to a time after the changes, when the only transitions I need to think about are going to get a yoga class from Tadasana to Eka Pada Rajakapotasana.

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