By the time you read this, the transition to spring will possibly seem like it happened ages ago. There’s more light in our days, the tree buds have bloomed—and hey, everyone’s allergies are back! (Sorry, but if you live in Albuquerque, then you know this is a major indicator of spring’s arrival.)
The transition to a new season—like any change in our lives—necessarily brings some discombobulation with it. The habits and routines that worked for you all winter may now be getting a shake-up, and it may take a little bit before you settle into a new groove. It’s not all that different from, say, the transition from triangle to half-moon pose. The change requires an allowance for some instability, in order to shape-shift from one form to the next. Sometimes you land gracefully, and sometimes you don’t. Eh. That’s why we practice.
Off the mat, it seems we’re harder on ourselves. The stumbles—especially in situations with higher stakes than the outcome of a yoga pose!– can cause us to worry that we’ve fallen off course, that we’re not up to whatever demands might come in our new station. It’s easy to wish we could somehow get to the new place without leaving the old. But. That’s just not how it works. We can’t remain who we were AND become who we’re becoming. And the space in between can feel vast, shaky, and unwelcome. What to do?
First: not too much, actually. The first step in finding comfort in a new routine, a new experience or a new stage of life should, I think, be simply to acknowledge that change is happening, and that we are feeling a reaction to it. There are few things better suited to a new beginning than a deep visit to the realm of self-awareness. Some good practices for this might include meditation, journaling, or talking to a friend (or a therapist!)
Next: after discerning what your reaction(s) are, play with the idea of giving them a little space, before acting out on them. Small as this may seem, it can be the difference between letting a moment of anger/fear/resentment arrive and then pass, versus feeding a feud that lasts for days. This sounds small. In reality it represents a gigantic shift away from the reactivity that can keep us locked into patterns which diminish us. What a practice this one is! I fail at it allllll the time. I try to celebrate the moments when I get it right, with the hope that I’ll do it more often as time goes by.
Maybe then: take down a few notes about the sorts of habits, actions or practices that might help you find stability, even in the midst of change. What makes you feel better? More movement? Less? More talking? Less? Different food? Different sleep patterns? It doesn’t have to be some massive life overhaul. Choose one or two things to focus on, and commit to them as though they are sacred. Commit for a few weeks. Keep taking notes. See what happens.
A major reason why I love running this studio is because it embeds me in a routine of practicing yoga with people I admire, respect and feel deep affection for. I am endlessly grateful to remember that when I fall off track, there’s a practice and a community that pulls me back onto it. Thanks to all of you for being a part of that. I know I speak for all of us at Grassroots in saying that it is our mission to offer you the same in return.