Tadasana, Mountain Pose, feet together arms by your side, stand tall -- pick one or all. As a yoga teacher I say these phrases many times a week.
Yet, as a yoga student, they have a different meaning to me. Recently, my teacher said:
We stand, to withstand, to understand.
We Stand. My back goes out -- a lot!! My latest adventure in how-my-back-feels-today, has been a long, slow recovery. And to simply stand, has not been easy. The standing is okay. The sitting somewhat okay. The sitting to standing or standing to sitting -- very challenging and painful.
It was the back bends I pushed into when I knew I wasn't ready. But I felt good that day and felt blissful in my practice. My practical mind said, "Grab a block and restore." My Monkey brain said, "Go For It." Yes, let's go for it......Oh crap. Shoulda grabbed the block.
So I became re-acquainted with my bolster and meditation practice. FUNdamentals, as my teacher often will say. Huh...fun.
To withstand. Yoga helps me to face my fears, endure life's challenges and problems. Resist temptations and the urge to quit when it gets to tough, hot or boring. Hold the pose, take a breath and stay on firmly planted feet.
To Understand. I live in a constant state of confusion. I am confused by everything from bad food in public schools, expensive yoga mats/clothes/trainings/music/etc, taxes and children with bad manners, including my own kids manners and attitude.
I know what I know and I do not know, what I do not know.
I understand practicing yoga is hard, yet rewarding. Just like marriage.
I understand life is not fair, yet worth living.
I understand love is fleeting and a many splendid thing.
I understand food and nourishment, from the earth, will feed you.
I understand children are a reflection of ourselves.
I understand friendships are time consuming, yet valuable.
I understand family is exhausting, yet everything.
And yet, I go back to the basics, the fundamentals, and Stand tall. I Withstand my challenges and try with guidance from the traditions I believe in, to Understand.