If you have been around the studio at all in the last year, particularly in the last month, you know well that the buzz-word has been… Expansion! We are expanding – the studio, and all of us who are a part of it. Asheville Community Yoga is a being with a life-force and a powerful will all of its own, and we as members of this community have proven to be greater than the sum of our many parts.
We can think of expansion as the inhale…. as we practice our capacity to draw in breath, and with it prana, our very life-force, grows. We learn to savor that pause at the end of the inhale, where we experience ourselves as full. But clearly, we can’t hold the breath in forever! This is also a season of letting go, releasing. We must, in order to make way for what is yet to come. This certainly doesn’t mean that taking that the things we release are not of value! On the contrary, the thing we choose to release has already been assimilated into our very being as nourishment, and what is released will be recycled. It is the nature of things. We see this palpably in the leaves falling from the trees, and returning to the fertile earth.
Notice your breath. Inhale slowly with no expectation of how much you can expand. Linger for a moment in the pause at the top of the inhale. Notice when the breath naturally turns to flow back out. Exhale with reverence and patience. Notice the moment of pause at the end of the exhale… this is a moment of pure potential. Don’t rush the inhale, but FEEL the inspiration come to draw breath back in… and then allow it. Again, with no preconceived notions about how much it is possible to expand…
The moment at the end of the exhale can be frightening. We feel ourselves empty. This is not a place we can stay, but it is a powerful place to bring awareness to. Indeed it is the moment of pure potential, from which powerful inspiration (inhalation!) gives rise! It is in this moment we can open to the unknown, with confidence.
It is with this awareness that I (Leaflin!) would like to put in a personal note. The time has come for me to say, with great and humble gratitude, farewell to my position as staff member at Asheville Community Yoga. I am honored to continue my service as teacher. I have been here for nearly 4 years now, and have cherished the unique opportunity to be in service to a mission that I wholeheartedly believe in. I love every one of you and will miss seeing you so regularly, but please stay in touch if you are inclined by coming to one of my classes, or shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org!