So inexorably the year has turned. On social media I see others partying, recovering, and setting intentions for the next 12 months. I’ve managed the first two of these to some degree, but I don’t feel at all ready to look forward yet. There still seems so much unresolved from the previous year. So many questions unanswered, so many things half done, and I feel irresolute about where to direct my energies and intentions in this new year.
I feel this in my body too. Tadasana, always a challenge for me, feels deeply uncomfortable. I have to consciously will myself into an approximation of good alignment. Left to its own devices, my body leans backwards. I don’t want to stand and face the future. But always the first change comes with simple noticing. The experience of embodiment of mental states is still new to me; I’d never noticed such things before. So although my Mountain Pose feels unsettled and at risk of some emotional avalanche, I’m also curious and pleased that I can feel this, note it, and begin to coax my mind-body into a better state of readiness for action.
In any case, now that I’m back at the office again I can’t continue to deny that the year has started fully. I can’t hover on the brink, subtly leaning backwards, because there’s work to be done. And after this break from responsibilities, it becomes apparent to me how full my days are, and how busy I am with various aspects of practice. I’m starting teaching again next week and am already catching up with students in little corridor moments and the odd email for advice which has set me thinking about my January teaching focus, I have yogi friends coming over for our regular little satsang gathering so I need to prepare some theme to guide our thoughts, I have some writing deadlines looming fast, and I am booked into two weekends of workshops in London, with associated travel plans as I try to mesh yoga with some uplifting socializing.
My Sanskrit teacher has just been in touch after many months’ break, so I’m trying to revise a little grammar and have fun with a bit of reading of the Bhagavad Gita before we meet. I find I have great sympathy with Arjuna’s reluctance to get going, to step forward into action and join the battle: “having spoken thus on the battlefield, Arjuna sat down on the seat of his chariot, casting aside his bow and arrows, his mind distracted by grief.”
I too feel full of confusion and I see myself throwing obstacles in my own way, as Arjuna does. And in the midst of this doubt and hesitancy about ‘the path’, my Yoga teacher emails me to arrange our next one to one. He would never claim Krishna status even in my very modest yoga world view, but I suddenly feel a little less alone, a little more battle-ready. I still doubt my understanding of the battleground or the aim, but I won’t discover the answer by sitting here thinking about it…
There’s some call to action.
And my students need me, and that is reason enough to stand tall and step up. Maybe my January teaching will feature warriors and bow pose variations?