I’ve been thinking a lot about moving (literally and metaphorically) lately. My life always feels a little faster-paced than I’d like it to be, but now is a particularly hectic time. The most immediate move I’m undergoing is also the most literal: I’ve just finished moving my stuff into a new place in town. I’m moving in with someone after making a conscious choice based in love and mutual respect. The new apartment is beautiful, the neighborhood is great, and it’s a lot more convenient for me in terms of getting to work, to friends, and to yoga. I couldn’t be happier.
That’s all great. Except I hate moving. Doesn’t everyone? Moving is consistently identified as one of the most stressful events in life. It requires huge amounts of physical endurance and mental patience. It’s always a longer and more expensive process than you plan for it to be. And, if you’re doing it yourself, you have to figure out *who*, exactly, is going to drive that terrible truck (it was not me this time around, thankfully).
I consider myself an expert on moving, of sorts. Since college, I have moved six times. Just writing that makes me cringe! Am I a glutton for punishment? Or just someone who can’t seem to put down roots? Whatever the case may be, that’s the reality of it, and I know that every time I’ve moved, I’ve had a pretty good reason. That doesn’t make it any easier. But here’s the thing: no matter how bad the move is, no matter how exhausted you are or how much pizza you’ve devoured out of the sheer need for comfort and calories, there is always that sweet moment when you’re sitting in your new space, surrounded by boxes, and dreaming of ways to make it beautiful. Moving, as dreadful as it may be, unlocks potential. It’s a new beginning.
Moving also awakens us to the energy and the love that’s already in our lives. In my teacher training, I often heard: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Moving has been that teacher for me recently. To do it, you must cultivate patience and awareness. You must expect the unexpected. Most importantly, you must reach out to others. None of the many moves I have made could have been done without the help of some truly awesome and supportive friends. These friends have also been my teachers. Some of them are wildly talented at stacking boxes. Others tape up the art I’ve collected over the years lovingly, in heaps of shiny bubble wrap that I will later pop with childish excitement as I bring out paintings to hang on my wall. Some bring me lunch because they know I’ve forgotten to eat. A few swing by after the loading is done to help me sweep. In short, they never cease to amaze me. To teach me something about love, and gratitude, and generosity.
It’s the same on the yoga mat. On one level, my practice is all about moving. I love the flow because it keeps me in my body. I cartwheel my hands, waterfall my arms, spring up into an inversion (or fall out–more likely, and maybe just as fun). And, just as with my move to a new apartment, I meet friends–and blocks–that teach me things. I lean on myself, my fellow students, and my teachers for the support I need to find strength. I get exhausted and wrung out, but I push my limits and I discover that I am stronger than I think I am. I forgive myself for not being able to get into certain poses, just like I have to accept that I can’t help carry the heaviest pieces of furniture. And at the end of a practice, just like at the end of a move, I am overwhelmed with peace, positive energy, and potential.
While I hope one day to find a space that will fit me for life, I know that life, like the practice of yoga, is constantly evolving. And that’s not a bad thing. So I keep moving.
*Ali completed her 200-hr Teacher Training at Breathe Yoga in Pittsford, NY. She is psyched to be a new instructor at Go Yoga. Look out for her class, Slow Flow, beginning next Tuesday (4-5 pm!)*