Tonight, after dinner, I ran down the green grass hill, beside the labyrinth whose flowers are becoming more extravagant every day, and to the path towards the lake. Beside the water, the light switched to the mystical, just-before-dusk lightness that reflects unexpected colors in the bark of white pine trees, makes reflections feel profound and romantic, and drenches everything with a special clarity of gratitude.
This morning, Micah (our volunteer coordinator) taught a pranayama workshop. In his discussion around breath work, he emphasized the spiritual and profound impact of intentionally concentrating on, and using, the breath. One of the participants in the workshop (who identified herself as a principal) shared that she never begins a meeting with fighting students until they all take 3 cleansing breaths together. My eyes filled with tears, just imagining the impact of this knowledge on students, on teachers, on a system that is so structured around reaction, fear, and struggle. What if all of us had a little bit of space around us? Space to breathe and notice? Space to choose.
Micah likened our journey on this earth as the moment a wave crests up high enough to launch tiny droplets of water into the air. Imagining ourselves as these droplets, crying out "Woo hoo! This is me!" Individuals. Yoga, he said, the arrival point of the practice, the eight limbs, the breath work, and meditation, is the opportunity to remember who we truly are. Even in droplet form, distinct, hurdling through the air, we get the chance to remember that we are truly at home in the infinite ocean. Home.