We got new Jade yoga mats at Yogamaya a few months ago. This may be a little known truth, but once you become a yoga teacher you see everything as a metaphor. These mats are super sticky. They allow you to reach fully out in every direction and still be held close within, like a lovers embrace. Our last mats got over-cleaned and lost their stick, so every time I practiced the challenge was trying to hold steady on slippery ground. I’ve had spells like this in life as well. It can seem, and the reality is, that everything is simply hanging on like a drop of water at the edge of a petal.
But anyway now I have a Jade mat and I feel totally free and secure.
Except I didn’t have my Jade at the beach.
Have you ever stood at the waters edge? The ground literally gets rearranged and pulled out from under your feet, water is pushing out and at the same time rushing to retreat in. Where do you find your footing? I tried so many times to enter ardha chandrasana and miserably failed, eating a bunch of salt water and looking crazy. I felt confident I could find my foot, or use my hips, or use some magic yogic skillz to find the pose even for a moment, eventually. It didn’t happen, so finally I let it go and opted for downward dog, my h(om)e away from home. I stuck all of my four limbs into the moving sand and tried to plant myself there. I got low and put all of me into it. It led to this epic beach pic.
Spiritual practice and life is a total and ongoing preparation for where you can find ground, even in chaos. How does one navigate through the unknown and through the ever-changing landscapes of our inner and outer lives? For me, I have a mantra and a place, teachers and friends, asana and bhakti. When everything else is not there, I still have my mantra. This mantra beats in my heart always, no matter what, and it is literally shelter from the storms!
Where do you find your ground? In the wise words of Hendrix: