Sukah and stira. With ease we must have steadiness.
This is the balance of light and comfort with intensity. On our mats, we cultivate our breath as we move through each challenging asana. As we create heat and energy in the body we link our inner and outer body through our breath. We bring an endless amount of emotion to the mat, but take away so much more from our time there. The challenge is being able to apply these elements of gentleness and steadiness in our lives, wherever we go, and whatever we confront.
This past Saturday, the day I taught my twenty-five beautiful peers my own yoga class, one teeming with sukah and stira–intense holds, invigorating music, deep breaths, and surging prana, my grandmother passed away. With whatever composure I could gather, I led the class that afternoon and dedicated the energy and spirit of the class and my efforts to my grandmother. She was someone who encouraged me to be my best self, always proud of me in every facet of my life, and over Christmas raved for days on end about how elated she was watching me practice yoga. My grandmother embodied invigoration, light, and high spirit. And that is what I taught that afternoon. I have to believe there is a reason I sequenced my class as I did and that she was there with me during this milestone in my life.
I have felt an emptiness upon waking the last few days. I can’t describe it. The consequence of firstly the end of my teacher training, no longer spending my weekends in the structured environment of my studio surrounded by the yogis I have grown so close to. And secondly, losing one of the strongest and gentle natured souls I’ve known–someone so integral to who I have developed into today. The hurt comes in waves like when I scroll through my Contact Favorites on my way home from work, hovering my finger over the number for “Ma.” It doesn’t seem real to me that she won’t be talking to me on the other end as she sits near her beloved butcher block in the kitchen.
But through time and understanding and positivity, I will find the ease. The balance of sukah and stira will come. I know it will come because my grandmother instilled in me such qualities to do so. I am her granddaughter.