Yesterday was one of those days that I spent most of holding my breath. When I finally exhaled I realized that it was silly to have not done it many hours earlier. Writing public blog posts can do that to me and even more so when I share them on sites that are not mine. Here I have my great readers who know my craziness, my opinions and my truth. In the wild and wooly world of the interwebs one never can guess who might read and react to what I write. It can be nerve-wracking even if I know what I write is of value.
Thanks first of all to the multitudes of my friends and readers who raced over to MindBodyGreen to read my post yesterday, commented and also shared the bejesus out of it. I am so humbled to have you on my side and I swear I have your backs the next time you need it! I was really nervous about my piece which after I hit the send button all of a sudden seemed pushy and opinionated. I was sure I would get a rash of hate comments from hot yoga practitioners and other readers who thought it was. I was getting prepared to defend my positions and statements. Seriously.
I did not need to and in fact I got the total opposite reaction.
The New York Times article that spurred that post has erupted in the yoga world with a fury not seen since Etna smothered Pompeii in ancient times. People feel vindicated, people feel accused and people feel defensive. There is anger, vitriol and dismay swirling around in the atmosphere in a crazy dance with defense, honor and support. The winds whipping rain outside my window right now are nothing compared to the letters and verbage spinning on the web. Every day there is some new angle and some new reaction to read (check out YogaDork’s rundown for the 411 on all the posts) . It is daunting but to me so exciting that the debates continue. Whether we are talking about alignment, styles, asana vs. yoga, spiritual vs. physical or specific individuals, people are engaged and excited to discuss what I love. How can this phenomenon be a bad thing?
Yet in the midst of all this discourse and argument was my post about practicing yoga safely. While I wanted it to be part of the discussion, I was also concerned about what kind of conversation it would become. It was written from the heart and how I teach. It was universal yet highly personal and so I was feeling defensive as soon as I clicked “send.”
Yesterday I was feeling stifled by the concern that publishing my article would be a negative thing and I was overwhelmed with the wait for it to go live. I knew that if I got on my mat it would be a practice steeped in overdoing it, drenched in resistance without a drop of sukha to be found. So I decided to take a day off from my practice and get my toenails painted. I wanted at least one moment in the day to be soft and sweet.
There are days you can battle with your mind, battle with whipping winds and pouring rain, battle with people whose opinions vary from yours and battle with yourself on the mat. Other days you serve yourself better to take the path of sweetness, of sukha, where you can drink in the ease and the softer edges. Sukha is that place where rainbows show up outside of the nail salon after you have given yourself a thirty minute mental break. A small whisper of a rainbow that cuts through the torrential and proverbial rain like a Ginsu knife and then slowly fades before you can snap it. That rainbow is really there whether on film or not. The colors might have misted away with the clouds, but its message of bright color in the midst of gray chaos has not.
It is a rainbow that reminds you that trusting your words, trusting your self and trusting your path is really the sweetest thing.