Today I want to tell you a story. Seventeen years ago, while I was still living in my city of birth, Caracas, I went with my father for a checkup in the dentist. A tooth was removed a few days before and we received a weird call saying that the doctor was waiting for him and we should go now. In our way there we already knew that there was something weird, we were trying to keep it cool but I still remember the moment when I was standing behind my father, holding his shoulders as he was listening to the doctor referring us to an oncologist. Time stopped, we ran out of time. The cancer was already very advanced, and the next three months were challenging beyond limits. It seemed as it was years, we fought fiercely, we experienced anger, sadness, and were humbled by so many demonstrations of love, friendship, and solidarity. He died, and in that process, we learned so much. We learned about time and how ephemeral it is, we learned about love, friendship, about not giving up, about learning to find beauty in the saddest places, we learned that life has to be lived fully, because just as the Buddha said, “the problem is that we think we have time”, so we get distracted.
Just after that, with my heart completely opened and humbled between the feelings of sadness, tiredness, and love, yoga came to my life. I was ready, and the journey began. Just as Patanjali states in the first Yoga Sutra “Atha yoganushasanam”, now is the moment for yoga. And it was, I was ready.
In those moments when you feel your life needs change, inspiration, and deep connection, is the moment for yoga. The physical practice is the outer layer of it, it’s how we see it from the outside, but the most beautiful part has no words. It shows in different ways inside of us and leads to consciousness. It’s a practice that starts on the mat, but that little by little permeates the way we go through the world and tints with its light each part of it, each part of us.
Sometimes, when we feel that our life is in middle terms we silently settle and accept things, rules, situations that we don’t want or like. The unconscious sensation that “we have time” wrongly directs us to an acceptance that doesn’t spark a light in our life. It’s an acceptance that produces a shadow. And the very key to knowing if we are in the right road, of knowing where to go, from the most simple to the most complicated decision comes to this: if you can feel joy and expansion, even if fear is there, go for it! Many times that shadow grows so much that it blurs our life, other times a shaking experience comes, and then we realize that we have no time. That life is to be fully lived, otherwise, we are just losing it.
The experience with my father was an awakening. We all have those moments. The recent experience with Covid-19, the lockdown, changes in different aspects of our lives come, shake everything and suddenly we notice that we have to start living now. We can’t lose one more day complaining or feeling unfulfilled, we need moments of magic, of joy, of inspiration. Yoga can be the door for that, the very thing that makes us notice that we need to ask for help, that we need to set healthy boundaries, that we need to speak our truth and do everything that is in our reach and beyond to live the life we want, to live to our fullest potential!
I know that yoga is one of the things in my life that gives me time. Time for me, time to recognize my self, my deepest layers, my deepest feelings, and honor them. It gives me time to know who I am and what I want. It’s like a string of light that guides me and allows me to be beyond my thoughts, remembering again and again that I am not my thoughts or emotions, even though so many times it feels like that.
If we get distracted we live according to two completely antagonistic realities. On one side we fill our lives with so many things that are shallow, that doesn’t nurture our souls, on the other we have no time for what is really important.
Let’s recognize we have no time to lose our life, let’s live to our highest potential each day of our lives!