The Yoga of Impermanence



If you are lucky, you don’t encounter a big loss until your heart is held by more hands than your own. If you are lucky, you learn that life must have it’s mirror and come to understand impermanence before you experience it. If you are lucky, the all the people you love around you will come to live a beautiful, long life. If you are lucky.

Or, maybe, if you are lucky, you will learn how to say goodbye. And, trust it.

We can all be lucky

In my life, I’ve said untimely goodbyes. I’ve had my heartbroken in ways no sister should bare. I’ve been very, very afraid. I’ve also been very, very attached. Although I try not to outwardly express it, I tend to live in the ‘mine’– that space in our mythic reality where we think we have control, in an effort to avoid the mine-field called ‘alive.’

This is why we yoga

Yoga is a practice of celebrating impermanence. On our mat, we learn to watch the millions of energetic births and deaths that we usually miss out on during our cubicle-framed days. We learn to embrace change, and let change replace our illusion of control. Judith Lasater writes: “When we forget the truth of impermanence, we forget the truth of life. Spiritual practice is about remembering that truth and then embracing it.” Simply: embrace change.

And, yet this is hard! This is hard because change takes place both in our physical reality and in our heart.

The answer then is to let change happen. Let yourself grow. As the Buddhist story goes: One day a student goes to his teacher to complain about his frustration with change and impermanence. His daughter then approaches him and says: “If if weren’t for impermanence, I’d never grow up!” If it were not for impermanence we would never grow brighter.

– For Brad


Jamie Silverstein

Jamie Silverstein

Jamie is an Olympian, advocate, yoga teacher and lover of all things sweet!


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