02 December, 2012

Savor the impermanence

Today was Gentle Yoga with Elizabeth McElveen.

Something happened at the beginning of class today before we started. It was a little subtle occurrence. Something said, and it made me immediately think "Oh no! Elizabeth is going to tell us that she's not teaching here anymore!" I am not sure why I jumped to that (which is interesting, in and of itself, Mr. Worst Case Scenario). I spent a few minutes at the beginning of class, worrying, wondering, spinning about what I would find out or hear at the end of class. Anticipating. Not the moment, eh?

Elizabeth then talked a little bit about "Setting an Intention." This is not something she typically does in a class, but today she did. And it occurred to me in that moment that it could only be this:

"Savor the Impermanence."

Because that's all there is to work with. Nothing is forever. There will be good times, and they shall pass. There will be bad times, and those, too, shall pass. There's no point in getting bent out of shape, or attaching greater importance to anything than what actually is. People talk about this in so many ways. The Baptiste folks refer to "non-essential stories," (which, I assume, is a quote of Baron Baptiste). The thought in my head was, "How am I going to be able to get along without Elizabeth, who has been this new-found, shining light in my practice?" But the truth is (minus the stories), the practice is always the practice. Whether it's with Elizabeth, or Michel, or Patrick, or Cassandra, or Carley, or the teacher I've not yet met. The person showing up on the mat is me. They tell us that they're only here to be a guide. Nobody stands in front of us and says "You will come see me if you want to do 'The Real Yoga'." That doesn't happen, because it would be absurd.

But there was that attachment popping up.

When I chose to savor the impermanence, suddenly, I could say to myself, "It's going to be okay." If this had been the little stretch of my life in which I practiced under the guidance of Elizabeth McElveen, then that's what this would have been. And I am far better for having had that experience. I retain the essence of her guidance in my practice now. I am always calling upon her words. So, really, all it took was that exposure. Sure, it's joyful to practice with her, and I get a kind of warm-fuzzy feeling from it. But that fuzziness, itself, is not "Practice."

At the end of class, Elizabeth said "I'll see you all next week." I asked her about that which I had feared, and she laughed, and I realized I had just misread the situation.

So what good did the worrying do anyway?

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