This week I have had the pleasure of witnessing the birth of a yoga studio, Pura Vida Yoga. On Saturday, we christened the space with a hot and powerful one and half hour practice led by the studio’s founder (and one of my most influential teachers!) Xenia Brat. I feel so honored to have the opportunity to be a part of this yoga studio from the very start. And to teach here? It’s so special. I feel excited and humbled all at once. As people are beginning to trickle into the studio, I am catching glimpses of the kind of studio it will be. The space it will hold for community, for people to come together and feel empowered and simply love one another. It gives me chills.
I am always inspired by people who have the courage to shamelessly pursue their dreams. Seeing Xenia in this studio that she has breathed into life is a reminder that you can make anything happen. If you have a dream, hold on to it. Plant the seeds. Trust. Nourish the sprouts. Nurture them. Don’t lose faith.
One day they will become trees.
It’s hard to put into words just how I’m feeling. I feel my heart is bursting open, truly. I knew that a yoga teacher training would be transformative, but I don’t think I quite understood just how much so. I honestly feel so freshly open, so tender, so raw that I’m not even sure how much I want to write and share, just yet. I want to savor it, to wonder at it for just a little bit longer. To witness myself as I heal, as I walk through the fire and emerge anew.
However . . .
I am finding that old wounds, however long forgotten, are rising to the surface, gasping for air, begging for release. I am finding that as each new layer is exposed to air some hidden sorrow floats away, dispersing into infinity, just like that. I am finding that I can cry, and with those tears my fears are washed away. With those tears I water the soil of my heart, nurturing the seeds planted there in some other time and space. I am finding that I am lighter in spirit and a little more soft around the edges.
There is nothing I need to do, nothing I could ever do, to be any more loved than I already am. I am worthy. I am whole. I am enough. It’s just that simple.
And his Heart said to my Heart, “Rest in me. Everything is going to be ok.”
What is wabi-sabi? It’s a term I’ve been hearing and thinking about a lot lately. The first time I heard the phrase (or at least, consciously realized I was hearing it) was from my professor in last month’s World Literature class. He called it, “Finding the beautiful in the melancholy.” Since then, the word has flooded into my consciousness as I’ve been bombarded with it pretty much everywhere I turn. (That’s synchronicity for you!) I’m not sure if it’s merely that I’ve been noticing it more, or if the world in general is becoming fascinated with this concept all at once. Anyway, my most recent encounter with the word was in the spring 2012 issue of Light & Truth magazine. (A beautiful “Inspirational Photography and Lifestyle Journal” that comes in PDF format. I am slowly working my way through it’s pages and it is so far worth every penny.) Anyway, in her article “Wabi-Sabi: Imperfection Through the Lens,” Jessica Kerr defines wabi-sabi as: “The beauty of rustic imperfection, impermanence, incompletion – of life as it appears on the thresholds of emergence and dissolution.”
This is what I am attracted to in art. The cracked. The broken. The odd. The unusual. The imperfect. This is what I see through the lens. I like blur. I like grain. I like texture. In exploring myself as a photographer I am finding that these are the things I am drawn to. This is what I find beautiful. I took a walk this afternoon without my camera, because I wanted to really look at and experience my surroundings. As I walked, I thought about this concept of wabi-sabi. My eyes were drawn to the cracking paint on the sides of houses, the jumbles of weeds crawling up a rusting mobile home, crooked and rusting screen doors, reflections in windows, sprawling flowers interwoven with criss-crossing telephone wires, erratic, un-matching, wild & enticing colors. This is what my eyes see. I think this is why I’m so attracted to artists like Feather Love Photography. This is why I love playing with my Lensbaby and why I’m experimenting with film. I don’t just like those imperfections, those happy accidents—I crave them.
And when I really think deeply about it, this translates to what we are learning in my yoga teacher training. Wabi-Sabi: There is sweetness found in our differences and our imperfection. I am learning more and more the truth that there is no such thing as the “perfect” looking yoga pose. Every single body is different; no two humans move the same. I would rather see someone do what feels good in their body, then try to twist themselves into some supposedly “perfect” shape if it doesn’t feel right or good. Wabi-Sabi. Learning to see what is right for each individual, what we all intrinsically know deep inside—that will be my job as an instructor. Encouraging students to really feel their poses from the inside out and to relish in the sensation of doing what is right for their bodies. “Modify the pose to the student not the student to the pose.” That is perfection. That is where we find self-love—when we realize that we are perfect just as we are, with all our freckles and laughs lines and tight hamstrings perfectly in place.
Deep thoughts for today…it might make sense, it might not…it may not be a perfect post, but that’s just the point, right?