I sensed a giant collective exhale as we entered March. As I write this the sun is shining brilliantly and the snow is giving way to patches of green grass. Over coffee I watched a couple of cardinals dance and flit about each other perhaps making plans for an upcoming nest in our lilac tree.
And yet we all know how temporal this feeling is – that at any moment the wind could shift and bring another dumping of snow. My goal is to see the beauty in that too. For just as the weather in March oscillates, so too does our inner landscape. It’s always shifting back and forth, to and fro, adapting to whatever gains our attention or sparks a memory.
As I’ve been immersing myself in further yoga training these last couple of weeks, I’ve been reminded of the value of yoga to help us find the middle way. That is, the place where we can maintain a steadiness whether life is savage or serene, because both are temporary. We take on physical shapes, we move with the breath, sometimes in ways that are challenging or bring discomfort, and we concentrate on maintaining a steady pace of breath.
The breath is the surest way to regulate our nervous system. It’s something that’s always accessible to us. At any moment, we can pause and reconnect with our breath, we can slow it and call more in to nourish us, and with that act of yoga, we can find our centre once more whether there is green grass or snow on the ground. A full, steady breath can help us to calm anxiety and it can allow us to fully absorb a joyous moment.
If, like me, you sighed out the shadows of winter, be sure to take a deep inhale as well. Maintain your pace of breathing. You’re practicing yoga and you’re building the muscle memory of sitting through our shifting seasons – inside and out.
This is from my March newsletter. I’d be so grateful to be welcomed into your inbox each month. If you’d like my love notes, sign up here.