The light in the dark, and the dark in the light
One of the most beautiful things that I learned through my Yoga practice is how gratifying it is to feel thankful. It isn’t anything that I had to comprehend through hard studying or by stumbling on my mat, neither through muscle soreness or deep meditation.
It was just something that I felt one day. – An infinite gratitude just because I am who I am, right here and now. An open, honest and entire thankfulness, and to feel that made me more open to give and receive, and to just be, without any expectations, really no expectations at all.
Of course I don’t always feel this way. Like many of us, I have days when the dark invades me, and when the doubts are overwhelming. But there is something calming to then be able to remember the gratitude I sometimes feel, and to know, that nothing is here forever, everything changes. Universe, like our individual world is in continuous movement and transformation. The darkness never comes to stay.
The winter-months are always followed by the sprouting spring.
In the darker moments I close my eyes, I breathe, and my mantra sings as Bob Marley: “Every little thing is gonna be alright”. I remind myself: If it wasn’t for the dark night, we couldn’t see the stars. And everything is alright, sometimes it doesn’t feel like it is, And it’s ok to feel like that. Since I gave myself permission to the dark days, they actually pass by a lot quicker. In the darkness, the creativity tends to flourish better, and it’s actually on my dark days, when I can feel a real urge to reach the mat and immerse in my breath or in the functionality of a tiny forgotten muscle in my back.
I invite you to do this little exercise, right here right now: close your eyes, take a deep breath and feel your feet on the floor. Take another deep inhale, exhale, and in your mind, list three things that you are thankful for. You don’t have to publish them on your Instagram or update your Facebook. It’s just for you. To fill yourself with Gratitude. And if it doesn’t come, keep calm, it will come. Everything comes and goes. Like the waves. Like our breath. Let your self be in the moment, and if this moment is dark, let it be, let it go. I believe that, as long as we don’t clinch or hold on to our thoughts and feelings, we can let them in and we can let them go, as guests coming and leaving our temple.
One morning almost a year ago, after a long period of stress, anxiety and depression, I woke up by the Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, and I saw a different, light shimmer in my eyes, and that day, I wrote a long text about all those things I felt thankful for. I was in the middle of an amazing teacher training, “Yoga as Therapy” with Ashley Ludman. The journey during those weeks was incredible, I went very deep, and by the fullhearted support of both teacher and students, and with the whole place that promised growth and cradled me to deeper awareness, I reached closer every day, closer to the acceptance of the light dark, and the dark light. I immersed myself in the blue deep magic lake by the volcanoes, so thankful to be right there, at that moment.
Now I am somewhere else, and my struggles, as my joys, look different, my eyes reflect different views.
I do miss the lake and its magic, but I am happy to be right here, in front of the computer, writing my first article for Yoga Trade. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share. May our words be actions!
Mia Larsson (miaeyoga.com) is a curious traveler and a certified Yoga teacher (200 RYT, 120h Yoga Therapeutics + current Anusara studies). She is based in Mallorca and has been teaching in Spain, Sweden and Central America during the last 5 years.