Happy (lunar) New Year

New MoonAs I deepen my practice, I find myself surrendering to a lunar-centric cycle of life.  I notice my personal rhythms seem better aligned to the moon.  Shifting from observation to implementation however, is where the real challenge lies.  The Sutras say that our lives settle easily, comfortably into the deep grooves of our habitual patterns.  We won't get out of these patterns without slowing down to recognize them and then choose a different action.  I am free to act differently, and yet this choosing is perhaps the hardest part. I finally gave myself room to breathe this January.  I'm never ready for a new year when the calendar says I should be.  It's too soon after the hectic holidays, too dark, and too cold.  My appetite for routine needs time to build back up.  In the relative stillness this month I reflected on life's ever-present busyness.  The pace of life around me won't change, I have to decide how I engage with it.  Yes, absolutely, sounds great, will slow down...check.

And of course what did I do this morning to celebrate the new moon and new year?  Convince myself that I should go to a morning yoga class and run errands and so on and so on.  And once I've settled on should, I set in motion a familiar pattern of obligation, efficiency addiction, and guilt if I change my mind.  So, mind made up, I set my alarm.  Alarm buzzes, I get ready for my day in semi-hurried fashion, rush through breakfast, pack up a bag, panic at the time and run out the door per usual when I have to be somewhere before 9am.  The rain outside stops me -- I forgot my umbrella.  Back down the hallway.  Rush, rush rush...I'm now late.  Umbrella in hand and heart rate elevated I race once more out the door.  And then I stop, for just a moment, and see the absurdity.  I'm stressed out about getting to a yoga class.  I'm rushing around so I can go relax.  I'm so focused on getting to my practice that I forget to be in my practice.  The pause is just enough to break the spell.  I stop, slowly turn and walk back to my front door.  It's cold and wet outside.  I don't have to go anywhere.  I'm a yoga teacher for goodness sake, I can practice at home.  Heart rate slows, breath lengthens, body relaxes.  Another day will be better suited to joining others in the studio.