On Embracing Transitions in Yoga and in Life

Joy Stone
On Embracing Transitions in Yoga and in Life

I am so blessed with long-time, generous, and kind yoga students. Many of these students are also friends, and in many ways, they've become a kind of family. I am the "teacher," yet very often they show me more about living and thriving. Last Tuesday was a perfect example.


After taking time to carefully reorganize my teaching schedule to accommodate my new role as a working mom, I found myself going to the wrong house on the wrong day! As I knocked on the door, I realized what had happened.


I drove all the way to Santa Monica from the Valley -- about a ninety minute drive in morning traffic! There was no way I could make it to my clients in Bel Air without then also missing my Century City student... OMG!


Lessons for a Panicked Yogi

My first thought as I stood on that porch realizing the mistake I made was one of self loathing. How could I do this? How could I make such a stupid mistake? How could I let them down?

I ran back to my car and called my clients in Bel Air. Instantly, they became my teacher. They assured me that everything was ok and it wasn't a big deal. They would have a cup of tea and talk. And on top of that, they both sent me the sweetest email reminding me to be kind to myself and that I was going through a big transition. 

These words encouraged me. They reminded me that there is so much I am doing well. Still, sometimes I find myself dwelling on that one thing I didn't do so well.

Embracing Change, Embracing Ourselves

Being overly attached to a fixed idea of ourselves or life only keeps us stuck. ~Joy Stone

Yoga reminds us that life is always in transition. Every day is new, and each new day invites us to have a fresh mind and an open heart. I suffer when I expect it (or myself) to be the same as yesterday or as it will be tomorrow. Life is full of uncertainty and surprises. 

In the same way, we are often at the greatest risk of injury during transitions in yoga. When moving from one pose to another, we tend to let go of the alignment, awareness, and sensitivity to which we committed during the pose itself. However, the transition from one shape to another is still part of the practice: It is a pose of its own. 

Just like in yoga, life is always changing shape. May I stay aligned, aware, and sensitive as I move through my day. May I find acceptance that I am human, and most importantly, that I am loved and supported along the way.