"You climb the mountain to be able to look over the whole situation, not bound by one side or the other."
---Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching
In my summer online program, we’re exploring how yoga invites us to learn from nature, to recognize and benefit from the timeless truths she holds.
Honestly, I’ll never tire of contemplating nature as an expression of a universal intelligence, and as a conduit for tapping into that wisdom. Take, for example, this mountain near my house.
For some time, I’ve been fascinated by the fundamental paradox of our existence as embodied spirits, as physical beings with a subtle essence. And, how yoga helps us to dance between these two polarities of material and spiritual, relative and absolute, earth and sky, with grace and skill. Yoga gives us tools to enhance the enjoyment of our physicality as well as for our spiritual benefit.
Exploring how to fully stand on the earth while embodying the sky is, I think, central to our task as yogis. It’s something I’ve been playing with in my own practice for some time.
One recent insight: Just as earth is heavy dense and weighty, it also builds, it rises to meet the sky. The mountain has a base and it has a peak. The mountain is at once immovable AND a spacious vantage point from which to see. So we can climb the mountaintop and see out, feet firmly planted on the earth. There is wisdom to be tapped here.
This lesson is helping me a lot in the figurative mountains I’m scaling in my professional life. From the perspective of my climb there is, of course consistent, daily effort. There are challenges, moments of disappointment, overwhelm and fear.
Yet, I also see the perfect circumstances and the ideal network of support and encouragement that is making the climb so much more fun and exciting than I would have imagined it could be.
Looking down from the mountaintop, I see myself taking leaps, growing bigger, elevating, becoming clear, steady and grounded in exactly who I am and what I offer (and who I’m not and what I don’t), and empowering others to do the same.
If you’re being called to expand your perspective, to rise to new heights in your yoga and your teaching, we’re here to welcome you.
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