Our 6th weekend of training has passed, and I didn’t want to leave. Even in my state of exhaustion and hunger, I didn’t want to leave. I woke up this morning to a quiet house, a little sore from yesterday, and a feeling came over me – I want a week of this goodness. Week after week after week. For me, yoga is a dance. A dance with life. A dance with love. For myself. For others. For the infinite surrounding me. It is a dance I’ve come to need.
I simply love when these weekends carry a theme. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does I take note. So with every turn of events that seemed to link together or share similarities, I had to stop and think, “Is the universe trying to say something? Is my soul trying to tell me something?”
Fog. That was the theme. Seeing through it. Moving through it.
Saturday morning when I was driving to yoga there was such dense fog crossing the river that I couldn’t see beyond 2 car lengths in front of me. I thought this was very strange being that it was already 9:45 in the morning. We frequently get fog, especially on warmer mornings this time of year. However it usually is burned away by then, or so I thought. In addition to the fog on the river, I was also functioning under a self-induced fog. A girlfriend and I had gone out the night before and had a GREAT time… but I paid for it the next day. So my mind was in a fog and I was driving through the fog…
For the last bit of training on Saturday, we were instructed to put together a 4-pose sequence – one standing, one prone (belly down), one seated, and one supine – and then to call it to all 22 of us. Mind you, not only did we have to call our sequence, but we had to listen to and perform everyone else’s. It was fun to see what the others had come up with in such a short amount of time, but MAN was I tired at the end. My mind fog was starting to wear off by then, but I felt a different fog. My voice. I had lost my voice. And not from laryngitis — from non-use. It’s been a while since I’ve called a yoga sequence, and I found myself having great trouble maneuvering through the mind chatter, the mind fog, to say what I wanted to say. Afterwards, our instructor lovingly reminded us that we as teachers have to take care of ourselves just as if we were attending regular practice. Perhaps even more so, because as teachers we have to be “on” the entire time. We don’t have the luxury of emptying the mind and drifting off into YogaLand – which is so yummy to drift to, but it’s our job to lead you there. And if my mind is in a fog and unable to see where the path lies, there’s no way I can give the elements necessary for someone else to journey to where they want to go.
By Sunday, my mind fog had cleared and it was a gorgeous drive across the river. I was pumped and ready for another full day of yoga! I walked into the studio and rolled out my mat. But where I rolled out ended up being right next to the humidifier. I didn’t remember it being there but no worries. At least I’d be able to breathe easy, right? It was actually pretty cool. The fog, or mist, from the humidifier went right between my arms and legs in downward-facing dog. And I thought, how cool would it be to do yoga on a foggy morning by the river. Fog has never really touched me this way before, in fact I find it a nuisance. However, this weekend’s fog was inspiring. Be lifted. Rise above.
During my practice this morning, I was totally into my breath. The girl next to me was also totally into her breath. It was inspiring. She had some great chi going on. And then I found — by chance or not by chance, maybe we took notice of each other’s breath being similar and rode the same wave of energy — but I discovered we were moving at the same rhythm. Our Sun Bs (Surya Namaskar B) matched. We chaturanga’d the same, down-dog’d the same, and moved through warrior 1 the same. It was really cool and reminded me of 2 synchronized dolphins. In nature, dolphins in a pod will frolic and play around each other, constantly caressing, calling out, and checking in with their pod members. It’s a very vocal and dynamic scene. And every now and then 2 will break away into a dance, so to speak. There will be no “words” spoken, no chirps, whistles, or clicks between them. They just swim side by side, completely synchronized, perhaps noting the other’s energy and giving back just the same. It’s beautiful to watch, and it was beautiful to experience. Yoga IS a dance between breath and movement, if you can shift through your fog, your mind chatter, and find that balance between effort and ease.
The final exercise of the weekend was instructing a 30-minute sequence to 2 of our fellow yogi teacher trainees. There were 7 groups of 3 in the room, so you can imagine the chatter going on all at once. And what a challenge! Not only did I feel I had lost my voice, but I had to keep my mind from meandering through the chatter, the fog, surrounding me. “What are they saying?” “Where are they in their sequence?” “Can they hear me?” “If so, what are they thinking?” This was all going on in my head along with trying to lead my students and call the next posture. I had to shut it out. I had to keep my mind on what I was doing, guiding these 2 lovely people through 30 minutes of yoga. And by my amazement, by one point I actually did. I’m not exactly sure when that point was, but I found myself completely blocking out the chatter around me and focusing on my voice. The fog was still there – I felt it behind me – but that’s just it… it was behind me. I had moved through it.
As was my weekend, so is life sometimes … foggy. And it may be difficult to see what lies ahead. But with trust and patience and perhaps simply pressing forward, we find our way through. To quote a dear friend, “Find your fullest expression and move forward. Find your warrior and charge through.” It may take time for the fog to lift, but know that it will. The sun eventually comes out and the fog rises. And when it does, you will discover the deepest sense of who you are.
Namaste, my friends. And smile.