We grounded into our sit bones, we inhaled, sitting up tall, holding the breath, then exhaled, relaxing into ourselves a bit, falling into that rhythm with breath. Not teacher to student, but friend who knew asana, leading another friend through it. She’ll ask me a question about a boy I once liked in Warrior II, I’ll tell her a joke in Happy Baby. No pedestal. No high horse. For there is only one way off of those. All grounded, level, eye to eye on and from and heading back to one earth.
She doesn’t come for the shiny happy all is bliss yoga teacher. If I happen to just be in that mood that day, that’s a bonus. She comes for the real-ness. She comes for it all. When people say “in love and light,” I say, “in light and dark.” Because in order to really love someone you have to love all of them, their light and dark. You don’t really know them if you haven’t seen their dark. In order to really love yourself, you have to love all of you, you don’t really know yourself if you haven’t looked at your dark. I have become afraid of people who do not acknowledge their dark. (I have this recurring dream where we introduce ourselves along with our shadow self. “I’m Sarah, and this is my shadow. She’s insecure about men, money, and has mother issues.”)
"I feel like death," I told her, as we extended our legs and exhaled over them. "There’s the witness of it, and then there’s the experiencer, that’s where I am, thats who I am right now- in it," I said. But we practice to release ourselves from the tight vice of suffering. To rise up into the seat of witness consciousness.
She nodded, she felt that way too. Roaming the halls of the dark tunnel of the in betweens.
So much is unknown, more unknown than known. All the old clothes don’t fit anymore. The old plans have crumbled. The dreams have died. This is the end of the road, energetically, before the rebirth at Solstice, this is the last dark of the new moon before the rebirth of the light. We moved through a few more poses. “I feel like death,” I said, “but how else could i expect to feel, i mean look at the earth.” For if She spoke a human language, she too, in her dead and frozen soul, would say “i feel like death.” In the shortest of days, the longest of nights, the cold ground, the dead flowers and trees. This is the time of death, the Crone, when everything dies to be reborn. This is when everything goes to sleep, to dream up bigger and better, stronger and healthier, waiting just beneath the surface. When you understand the cycles of the moon, shes empty and dark now to be bright and light at the full, when you understand the cycles of the earth, she dies now to be reborn in the spring, you can let go, you can be carried. You are part of it all, the grand plan that carries us all on, all on down the river, so much easier, when we let go and surrender to her cycles, our cycles.
I thought about the ones stuck in the society that refuses to look at death, their own death, mortality, wildness and darkness, and the ones who moan about and demand a dying earth be sunny and pretty all the time, when she is trying, wildly, to get our attention, when she is going through her seasons as she must, as we must too. Like the moon, we cannot always be full and bright. We must empty to be full again, we must dim to recharge. Like the earth, we cannot always be spring and summer. We must have our falls- we must let go. We must have our winters- we must die.
I thought about the boy on the news who was reacting to the famous gorgeous actor’s death. He said, “How could this happen? I was just watching a movie of his yesterday, and today he is gone.” No awareness, attunement to life cycles. Life/death/ life. His own mortality. The mortality of others. What a gift the awareness of others impending deaths- and your own- is. Take stock on whom you love and what you love. What you stand for. What you want to fight for. Tend to that and them alone. Death is always coming for you. I thought about the girl at the coffee shop who turned her nose up at the freezing rain. “It should only ever be seventy degrees,” she said. No attunement to earths cycles, no attunement to her own. The earth cannot always be seventy degrees and sunny, we cannot always be smiling and happy. No light without dark. No Sun without moon, flowers without rain, growth without resistance, joy without sorrow, no summer without winter, no life without death.