A while ago I lost a friend who was one of my first students. I wondered how to honor her in the class that she usually attended. Should I talk about losing her? How I loved her smile? That I would miss her? Or maybe recognise the sadness that other class members might be feeling. I decided to take in a few sticks of flowering Manuka and I laid a mat in her usual space with this resting in her place. I felt sure that this would do. While my back was turned her dear friend walked in and took her place on the mat I had laid out, assuming that I had bought flowers for all of the people who usually practiced with her. As I turned and saw her there I felt immediately foolish and happy. Of course it should be the friends left behind that are comforted. That way instead of a memorial of sadness we are honoring life. An ability to smile together and think of all the good, a way to be united in the life of a friend instead of separated because of their loss. What a wonderful reminder of the celebration of togetherness, of life and of everything I have to be grateful for. I broke the Manuka into pieces for all of my friend's Yoga family to take home.
In these past weeks we have practiced around the theme of exploration and in that moment I explored a different way to honour. This exploration in our practice has been based around the idea that perhaps you are able to take a pose that you thought you couldn't, to be deeper in a space than you thought you could be, or to let go of a pose and be compassionate. Sometimes we are limited by our mind and what we believe we are capable of, these beliefs may be self imposed, may have been imposed upon us by our backgrounds, friends, family... wherever these limits have come from it is good to understand them so that we can come to understand our true selves.
“Open your eyes and attempt to see things in another way, the way of the heart.”