By Alana Bray, Owner of Yoga Bound unnamed-1

One of the realities that our Yoga practice allows us to recognize is the impermanent reality of life. We all have heard that nothing last's forever, and "Change is the only constant". At times the idea of impermanence can be comforting, and at other times it can be one of the most devastating realities of ones life. How can we use our Yoga practice to respond to our transitory reality?

I heard a quote in response to the recent fires in San Diego that took me a couple days to understand. Reverend Tom Kelly, a well respected Yogi wrote "To know Yoga is to accept death". Death, in every sense of the word evokes grief, sadness, the end of happiness, and all sort of feelings that we tend to avoid by ignoring its certainty in our life. It is inevitable. The only thing we have is now. Our Yoga practice becomes a tool for understanding the choice we have in life. We can choose to victimize ourselves, by closing off avoiding, and identifying with the sad feelings of impermanence. Or, we can choose to respond with presence. Fully feeling the sadness, yet not identifying with it. Being open to the changes in life, can mean being vulnerable, and it can also mean being liberated. When we are open to the transience of our situation, we are fully present to it. We are enjoying it for what it is.

The gift of my Yoga practice is the perpetual opportunity for presence. Yoga is a microphone for our life. If we can be present with the stable consistency of our softening breath in any pose, we can find the invested presence in every moment of our life. When we are in a struggle, why not connect with it and be present enough to respond to the struggle with grace, enjoying what it gave you? When looking at a loved one, then a deep and heavy fear sweeps over you that they are going to be taken away, the most healing choice is to be present with the love you have for them NOW. Enjoy the love they give to you in this moment.

I came to this awareness after the devastating fires in San Diego recently that burned one of my favorite places to regularly hike. I became sad, nostalgic and connected to the sadness all day. What gave me resolve was remembering the times I did spend in that place I was so present. I always basked in the beauty of that piece of earth. I thanked the universe for giving me such a gift that day. In that moment of sadness, I was comforted in knowing that I was present while I spent my time hiking in Elfin Forrest. In being open to the beauty of NOW, the presence resonates deep and becomes your source of comfort.

May you be able to connect to your most nourishing presence always.