As we roll into September, there is a natural transition from summer into fall, regardless of what the calendar date is. Routines start to creep back in, and the mindset of many of us changes. Transitions can bring up a lot of different emotions and feelings, and can also impact behaviour; sometimes positively and sometimes not so positively.
Transitions in our (what I will refer to as regular) life are not much different than the transitions we experience on our yoga mats. We find ourselves in a particular asana or pose, we experience it, hold it, and finally we settle into the pose. However, the practice then asks us to move to a different pose, and whether we are ready or not, it’s time to transition.
Sometimes changing positions is easy – we are quite ready to move on for a multitude of reasons: perhaps we didn’t enjoy the previous pose, or maybe it was very challenging. Yet even in those moments where we welcome transition, the challenge for us there, is to “move slower then we would like.” Not rushing, but recognizing the challenge and facing it head on.
Conversely, transitions can also be less welcome for many reasons. Maybe the pose was extremely pleasant and comfortable and we are just not ready to move on. In those moments when we are asked to change our position, we are not always inclined to do so, whether it be on or off the mat. The challenge for us then is to find acceptance in the change, and take comfort in the knowledge that everything will be okay. Change should be positive as it brings about new experiences and joy. Just when we thought there could not be a better pose than…..(insert your own favourite)….we accept the transition or shift to yet another wonderful pose…..Yes, there may be something that arises that we don’t always find to be our favourite or the most pleasant and the truth is we need those as well. Evolution is what allows us to grow as individuals in mind body and spirit.
Transitions in a yoga practice can be as important and useful as being in the yoga poses themselves; they are the in between, the bridges in our practice. Face them with as much enthusiasm as you do your asanas, maybe even cherish the pause they bring. So to in life off of your yoga mat; cherish the pauses and the changes they bring.