In the practice of yoga, Avidya is the first of the kleshas- the roots of our suffering. Often translated as ignorance, Avidya is a lack of understanding of the truth. The idea that our beliefs in a moment of time are not reflections of reality. Avidya is forgetting that the labels and categories we use to sort our worlds cannot sum up the true nature of something. The label “tree”- or even a picture of a tree- cannot do justice to standing under a blooming magnolia 🌸 in spring. 🍃 Avidya is also mistaking the temporary for permanent- which is ultimately the core of all of our suffering.
I was venting my anxiety over the pandemic with a friend via text the other day: “This feels endless.” And she agreed, “It is endless.” We both know it isn’t, of course. But how easy is it to forget in a moment of emotional overwhelm? To go down the rabbit hole of “forever?”🐇 How much worse do we make a situation when we mistake it for a permanent state of being? When we forget we won’t be doomed to social distancing and our homes for eternity?
Everything is in a permanent state of change, of decay, of breaking down. Last fall (or the year prior- I am losing sense of time and space) in class in a big old building in Vienna, as Richard Freeman lectured about impermanence and a piece of the ceiling literally crumbled to the floor by our mats. It’s all disintegrating around us. But- that applies to the negative stuff too- good news!! 😂
We mislabel the temporary as permanent, so we often lose sight of how precious the good stuff is, too. How much might we appreciate if we knew- like really felt it in the core- this was just moment, a blink in time? I’m not trying to minimize how challenging, sad, and horrible this current situation is- it is those things, 💯. And also. 💚Today, I am grateful for the opportunity to sleep in, for slow mornings, bath time 🛁 , healthy lungs and time to cook homemade food. For practice 🧘🏼♀️ this week- at home- with one of my main teachers Barbara Benagh, who skillfully reminded me of the impermanence of it all. 💚
#coronadays #yoga#yogainthetimeofcorona#yogaeveryday #yogasutras #avidya#impermanence #mindfulness#gratitude
About this blog
This blog, together with the occasional newsletter, will be an active space to share thoughts about yoga on and off the mat. Please let me know what you like and what you'd like to see more of. And as always, thank you for the gift of teaching!