Arrive & Dive: Courage & Grace, Day One

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written at little t baker next to bhaktishop in portland, or

It is interesting for me to write about Arriving and Diving right now, as I sit at a “local” (I have yet to find permanent housing so “local” is a relative term) bakery/cafe on Division in Portland, OR. Here, I am landing, not diving quite yet. I have yet to take public transportation and am being really gentle with myself concerning the fact that I have only been to areas within walking distance of where I am staying. After this training and after San Francisco, that seems like the gentle path to take. And the West Coast is progressively along this journey more and more about taking the gentle path.

But on my first day of training, I did what we called in Yoga School “Arriving and Diving.” Last Wednesday, upon circulating our introductions to one another, Keith mentioned that he has been “arriving and diving” a lot lately. The nods around the room were almost unanimous with identification. Mine certainly so. I arrived off a flight from JFK to SFO (a trip I hadn’t made in just over two years). L picked me up at the airport (thank Goddess), drove us to the beach. From the beach, we went to the orientation for the training at the Shambhala Center and from Shambhala we went to Yoga Garden SF for L’s amazing vinyasa class. Oh, and I’m not done…from there, we went to Marin where we stayed (slept only) for the next week with L’s amazing, caring, pampering family. Arriving and diving? That’s an understatement!

It is so important to land gracefully in our yoga practice and outside of it. The ability to simply arrive, to enter a room, a space, step on a mat, step into life, requires deep courage. Even if diving feels inevitable (and I seem to always be busy so it usually is), it is still important to take the time to simply be. During our first master class in this training, Keith took us through a sequence that I lost myself in…in the best way. Later, when we broke it down, I confessed that I would not know how to describe the sequence to him if I tried. It is that full being into the present mOMent that the asana practice teaches us to practice that takes my breath away and returns it every time I take the time to simply arrive. 

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