With practice comes relief.

With the days noticeably shortening as we near the winter solstice, I have to admit it: I feel a little messed up.

I’m doing all the self-care-y things that the Wellness Industrial Complex is telling me to do: I drink water. I meditate. I sleep 8 hours a night (I’m fortunate, I know).

And yet: I feel cloudy and lethargic. I’m hyperaware of the sensations emanating from my throat, wondering if the dryness is dehydration or something worse: Covid? The flu? That other @*&#ing virus?!?!!

I chug some more water.


We can try to rebrand “neurotic” as “quirky and cute” – or as one of my students said, “neurotic is another word for self-aware”. But at some point, we need a little relief from ourselves.

Practice can be a source of that relief – maybe not always in the sense that we wake up from savasana feeling fresh and clear, but perhaps in the acknowledgement that we are sometimes groggy, grumpy, or in a funk. The acceptance is the relief, and it’s not defeat – it’s just OK.

Cap off this year by making a commitment to practice: get the online library of yoga classes, or explore a seated practice through an online course. The end of the year can be a mix of emotions for some of us; may these practices offer support in cultivating stability and a sense of release.

Even when standing in shadow, may we learn to turn ourselves towards the light.

Be well,
Adrienne

A sense of stability in the winds of change

Today the leaves on the trees are rusty red and ochre yellow. The colours this year seem particularly vibrant, perhaps because we had a wetter spring. As the wind gusts, more and more of the branches are being revealed: black tendrils that reach towards the wide open prairie sky. The days are noticeably shorter.

Things are changing.

In response, I am yearning for stability.


I love stability. After the past three-ish years, who doesn’t?! It’s one of the reasons why I was initially drawn to Ashtanga: the set sequence offered certainty, predictability. Life was full of unknowns; at least I could know what the next pose was.

I even used to eat the same breakfast every day (banana, peanut butter, toast). For four years. Then it was yoghurt and granola. For five years. And a half.

A sense of stability is so important if we are to flourish: we can step out of the comfort zone with more confidence if we know there is a safe place to retreat to. A good plan always includes a backup plan.

Then again there is only so much we can anticipate.

Things happen beyond our individual control. The nature of things is change. The leaves scattered outside remind us of this.

We don’t always know what the next step is. Life isn’t a series of postures to dogmatically follow. We don’t know how much rain we’ll get in a year. We can’t control what governments halfway around the world do.

But we do have some say. We can show up on the mat, and work with what’s arising. We can follow our breath, and be caretakers of our bodies. We can vote in our municipal elections. We can put out a barrel, and channel the rainwater towards good things.

These days, I alternate between two breakfasts: oatmeal, or eggs and toast. Baby steps; progress!


Oatmeal or not, I hope that we can all find a sense of agency and stability amidst all of life’s unpredictable moments. The yoga mat or meditation cushion can be a really reliable place to touch into that sense of stability. If you’d like to explore more, join me for a livestream session or dive into a self-paced online meditation course.

May practice be our haven in the winds of change.

Be well,
Adrienne