Thailand Yoga Teacher Training 107

Everything Else Is Just the Weather

Work. Kids. Money. Relationships. Despite my best efforts to stay focused as I practice, these are the things that often come up when I’m on my mat. Sometimes, either consciously or unconsciously, I indulge myself a little bit, and allow myself to dig in to these distractions, but inevitably (and sometimes more quickly than others) I’m able to ground myself back in my breath, in the present moment. It’s not always easy, but I’m so grateful that I’ve developed this skill, this ability to temporarily extract myself from the challenges of my life and just be in the moment, feeling what I’m feeling, giving everything else a little space. It doesn’t make anything go away, but it does relieve some of the pressure, and helps me to approach things with a different perspective.

The inspiring Buddhist nun and teacher Pema Chödron famously says “You are the sky. Everything else.. It’s just the weather.” So, all of these distractions that come up for me are just like the weather. They are ever-changing, not always predictable, and often beyond my control. They also influence how I show up for pretty much everything in my life. Just like how if it’s raining outside, I might show up with frizzy hair and a bad mood, the dynamics of my work, family, finances and social life all weave together to subtly influence one another, both on and off my yoga mat. My yoga practice gives me the tools to see the weather-like nature of my life, and this awareness allows me to deal with things more peacefully and skillfully. It’s a gift that keeps on giving!

At this time of year, we start to get lots of requests to put Memberships on hold. It seems that people like to do other things in the summer, and that their yoga practice gets put on the back burner. This is, to a degree, understandable, but also, frankly, kinda ludicrous! Because truly, everything that happens in your life is literally and figuratively just the weather. The one consistent thing is you. And even if the sun is shining or work is crazy or your friends are having beers on a patio, you still need time to ground yourself, to come back to the present moment and look objectively at the weather of your life. In fact, the busier you are, the more you need this time.

No doubt, taking this time for your practice can be challenging, but I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t regret it. It may feel strange to take time out of our precious few summer days to go inside, but that (again, literal and figurative) going inside will only enrich the rest of your day, not detract from it. Everything outside of you, outside of your yoga mat – it’s only weather. Be the sky.

Joanna Thurlow
Owner, Moksha Yoga Halifax

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