Guest post by Yogasteya member Abby Nathanson
If it happens that you’re reading this from a part of the planet that has several different seasons, and you’re currently experiencing the satisfaction and also slightly unnerving shift from the colder one to the warmer one, hey! I’m right there with you. Spring is fabulous, but it also makes me a bit uneasy. Changes are interesting. I often invite my yoga students during a meditation at the very beginning of class to simply notice their breath without changing it, to observe their bodies and witness its various comforts and discomforts of the moment. In the same way, I try to invite myself to notice, to turn my attention towards the sometimes tiny changes that come about in my life as the planet keeps spinning around the sun.
It’s warmer. I’ve actually been arriving early to things, because I don’t have the extra few minutes of winding and unwinding my hat/scarf/gloves ensemble around myself. However, the extra time is quickly counter-acted by my new found habit of sitting in my parked car and dealing with my phone’s various demands or just staring at the sky when I arrive at my destination, because it’s now warm enough to comfortably hang out in the driver’s seat for quite a while. My closet is awkwardly trying to figure out how to re-organize in the switch from bulky clothes to less bulky clothes, and I usually find myself feeling some sadness when I box up my favorite fuzzy items.
It’s lighter. It’s suddenly come to my attention that the place where I teach yoga faces west, as the later sunset now kindly makes me temporarily unable to see my students if I want to get up from my mat during class. I also didn’t realize that one of my windy routes to the grocery store, somewhat east of my home, actually went west for a bit until I encountered the evening sun. The birds are doing their thing, which I’m mostly into, but it also makes me quite aware of how little I know about the non-human animals that apparently live so near to me.
Things are different. I find myself with a slightly different circle of friends on my invite list than the last time it was warm enough for an outdoor thing. My efforts to eat seasonally are suddenly much more enjoyable. I don’t get annoyed when people are running late to things, when it means that I get to hang out outside longer. I’m starting to think about where my electric fan might be hiding in the depths of someone’s basement. The trees that always used to freak me out when they were bare, grey, and monotonous are now regaining signs of life, which I find deeply satisfying. Changes!
When you find yourself in an emerging season, see if you might be able to use it as a time of reflection, of noticing, or directing your attention towards the multitudes of tiny moments that make up a day. Which moments are different? Despite the buzzing and beeping and tremendous disembodiment, it’s undeniably clear that we do still ultimately live on earth, an earth that will never stop affecting our daily moments in small and big ways.
Abby Nathanson is the Co-Founder of Women’s Power Space, the center for women’s leadership, collaboration, yoga and arts in downtown Poughkeepsie, New York. She studied Sociology and Africana Studies at Vassar College and is a RYT-200 yoga instructor with a background in the Iyengar method. Abby is passionate about feminism, anti-racism, decolonial witchcraft in Cameroon, crying in pigeon pose, and savasana (resting pose) that is practiced with a bolster, eye pillow, two blocks, and three blankets. To connect, visit her website.