There's a kind of magic in doing the same thing, the same way, every day. So much of our lives are unpredictable and tenuous. It brings comfort to know that, for at least an hour or two, things will unfold exactly as we plan, with grace and certainty. In this magic hour, everything will be as we hoped.
My routine sustains me. I doubt I could carry a six-day Astanga yoga practice without it. It's certainly changed over the years - from shala to home practice (even to hospital) back to home practice, on the road, back to the shala. When I can, I settle into this steady drumbeat of my daily round, recreating it as circumstances require, clinging to it when it feels like everything else is falling apart.
Here's my current rhythm: Wake, journal, bathe and walk to the station. Ride the streetcar with a cast of characters who have become familiar and beloved to me over the months (at 5 a.m., not many people ride public transit and those who do tend to be consistent about it). When I arrive at the shala, I turn on the heat, sweep and get mats out for my shalamates. I take a few moments to circumambulate the room with a stick of incense to clear the space. I light candles, then sit down with my fingers wrapped around my mala beads to settle in for meditation. By 6 a.m., when the shala officially opens, I'm already reaching my arms up to embrace my first sun salutation.
No matter what happens the rest of the day, I have these golden moments of the early morning to sustain me. But I also know that everything could change in a heartbeat.
There's a very good chance that sometime in the next two weeks, my life is going to be completely turned upside down by events entirely outside of my control. I've been watching breathlessly, trying not to allow the fear of what might come taint my present moment. But it's incredibly difficult. I'm a planner, I like lists and schedules. I like to know what's up.
And the truth is, right now, I don't really know.
In the end, it may work itself out. Or, like a meteor already on course, it could be making ready to collide with this life of mine.
When I'm not freaking out about it, I'm trying to stay calm and nurture the faith that in the end, everything will all work out for the best. And it will - I'm sure of that, because everything always does whether we think it's going to or not. But it doesn't make it any easier, does it?
For those of you still following the Wreck My Yoga Fallout, here are three additional responses to that NYT article that everybody loves to hate:
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