Welcome to my lighter newsletter. This is a conscious decision after my Indian Summer retreat with Sue, in which we explored ways to manage the dark days of winter. It was a delight to work with a diverse group of dedicated, open, generous yogis and I learned so much.
One of the things we explored is how to get into, and extend, our amber zone, that which lies between the comfort of the known and pure panic. Yes, this is the zone of fear. It feels that one should run run away as far as possible from this, shouldn’t it? Yet, one of the key texts of yoga, the Bhagavad Gita, happens in a battlefield, as Arjuna is seized by terrible fear at the thought of having to kill his teachers and cousins in battle. The fear makes Arjuna cry and surrender at the feet of Krishna, his charioteer. None of this is circumstantial. Tears purify Arjuna’s eyes and allow him to see clearer. The surrender makes space for the teachings of Krishna, in which he explains what yoga is and how the yogin conducts himself. Surrendering to fear makes us ready for yoga.
When you are next start your practice thinking about the dreaded headstand, when you go to work shaking because something might happen, when you worry about how you might behave in a particular social situation, remember that fear is the space of yoga. Pushing that amber zone is not an annoyance or an inadequacy we have to deal with. It is the work. It is an opportunity for us to meet it wholeheartedly, with our whole selves, unified (rather than run by emotions, thoughts or perceptions), in yoga.