Day 158 – the glory of morning

Teaching yoga is my yoga. I rarely sequence a class before I walk into the room anymore, but just seem to know exactly what to say when the time comes. The energy of the room seems to reverberate with whatever higher source is guiding me and I simply allow the class to evolve on its own. I love the way the room grows still after we chant the sacred syllable of om; the way the students’ breath synchronises in ujjayi, the breath of fire, like the whispering of the ocean; and the way they laugh when I try to be funny. When I am teaching I am entirely present and connected to these people in the room, whether it is one person or fifteen people. I can see the expansion of the physical body as everyone’s fingertips reach higher to the ceiling or stretch apart in Viravadrasana II. I can sense the expansion of the subtle body as they exhale and let go in Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana. And when I say goodbye and we all leave to enter the early morning at only 7.30am, the sun has only just risen. From that post-yoga glow, the entire world seems to sparkle. The ocean seems bluer and the coffee tastes sweeter. I decide to treat myself to a coffee and a breakfast roll from my favourite cafe in Coogee, Morning Glory. It is cold but I sit outside anyway in the sunshine. The sun offers light but no warmth as the winter chill has arrived early to Sydney. I sit alone and hold the latte glass in both hands. I have spent my last bit of cash on this treat. I almost told myself to just go home, but then realised that I can make this decision. I can say yes to this. It is a small luxury and one of the many things I love about Sydney- all the cafes that surround the coast. Because everybody loves a great view and a great cup of coffee in this city. Here, in this place, I am exactly where I want to be and I feel open to the brightness of the day. Thank you to the students who wake up in the dark, who come out in the early cold and who breathe loudly and smile as they practice.

Day 26 – meditation happens

The mind is like the ocean. The salt is all the thoughts. They never go away, but sometimes they are more still than others. I am sitting watching the gentle waves breaking up against the beach of Playa Esmeralda, where we are camping. The white wash is like my mind, a swirling mess of thought cascading over itself in an endless barrage of waves.
Then I stare at the horizon. Past the breakers, the ocean is glassy and blue. Meditation is like trying get out past the breakers. Today they are beating me back to the shore. After about twenty minutes of getting moved around in white wash I stand up and walk away. Sometimes it’s ok to forgive myself and walk away.
Later in the afternoon the persistent jet lag is threatening to throw me back to sleep so I go for a walk on the beach. It’s low tide but the dark wet sand is still cold on my Barr feet. The Santa Ana winds are blowing me down the beach and a swirling mist of dry white sand is dancing around my feet, guiding me forward. I stop and stand in this swirling magic and through the wind I can hear a vulture in a nest above me, warning me away from her young.
Sometimes meditation happens to you, even just a moment, but you will know exactly when it does and somehow you are more grateful for those surprise moments of bliss, like a gift from the universe.