Two Yoginis

A journey of yoga, friendship, and transformation

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Why I’m Loving Mercury Retrograde

As we resume teacher training this weekend, Mercury will be making his first annual about-face to travel retrograde for three weeks in the sign of Pisces. You may be (vaguely) aware that Mercury Retrograde strikes fear in the hearts of the astrologically inclined. As I discussed in a recent post, when Mercury, messenger of thought and communication, appears to turn around and go backwards, things can get a little wonky. Travel delays, communication breakdowns, and technology failures are notoriously plentiful.

That said, I have decided that when we obsess about the negative aspects of Mercury Retrograde, we fail to recognize what Mercury Retrograde is really about: an opportunity to retrace our steps. Mercury Retrograde represents the idea that it’s necessary to review our past actions and become aware of some information we missed, before we can truly proceed.

Attention: Fog Ahead - Boat Ride to Capri, Italy

Attention: Fog Ahead – Boat Ride to Capri, Italy

If your last few months has been anything like mine, it has been impossible to get everything on the list done, let alone go back over the details. Plus, I’ve been filling my head with so much new information (e.g. teacher training), that I definitely haven’t been able to absorb it all. This is where I believe Mercury Retrograde has come to rescue us, encouraging all things “re”: re-viewing, re-tracing, re-flecting, re-considering, and re-connecting with ourselves or others we may have left behind in the shuffle. Mercury Retrograde says: slow down and get your shit together.

That this particular Mercury Retrograde is happening in the last sign of the zodiac (Pisces), where we’re currently awash in deep, oceanic energies, indicates that we are rinsing away the remnants of an old cycle to allow for new growth. And if we’re able to go with the flow, lots of magical things will start to bloom in the spring.

For many of us, the notion of going with the flow is quite foreign. We’re too busy. We have too much to do. There’s not enough time. However, it is our insistence on charging full speed ahead (in spite of the awareness that it’s time to slow down) that results in the kinds of Mercury Retrograde mishaps we all dread.

In a class earlier this week, Keely reminded me that when our minds are occupied by either the past or the future, we’re unable to appreciate the present. In reality, Mercury Retrograde asks nothing more of us than to be completely in the moment, re-acting only to that which is in directly in front of us. If that is something you have yet to explore, the next few weeks will be a perfect time to give it a shot.

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Stepping Stones

As two women, two yoginis, we have been navigating a life that is filled to the brim with challenges. Are we successful enough? Are we fulfilling whatever role it is others expect us to fill? Are we living up to our full potential?

What if in 2013, and all years to come, we started living our lives for ourselves? What if we used the tools and the space we gained on the mat to help ourselves and to help others?

Ali and I went back to the fundamentals of yoga, by going back to level 1 and re-learning and re-visiting the basic poses, even though we have both been practicing for years. We enrolled in a self-inflicted yoga school on weekends. We committed to learning and experiencing the poses more deeply than we had ever experienced them before.

In 2012, we were each challenged to leave behind situations that were no longer serving us, and came together as best friends to support and encourage the other to move forward and heal. Stuck in the trenches it seemed impossible to begin to dig ourselves out.  How were we going to create the future we  had always dreamed about when there was still so much pain to let go of? Through yoga we started to find some of these answers.

Deep in the pose

Deep in the pose

People dream about having these so called “AH HA” moments, where things just make sense. As a result of our practice, we have become so aware and fearlessly awake, that every day the possibility of having one of these moments is within reach. We are remembering what it means to be totally in the moment, without worrying about the past, the future, the unknown. To be in the present is to harness the notion that truth and happiness are one.

With our new, awakened presence we begin our next journey. This time, it is a journey to become certified yoga teachers and to continue to spread the positivity that we have always cultivated, as friends.

There will always be mountains to climb, cruxes to reach, and loose rocks that cause you to lose your footing. There will always be really cloudy days that feel endless and moments that feel impossible: but the light at the top of the mountain is so bright it carries you along, and the tangible accomplishments along the way, like finally balancing in a headstand in the middle of the room, make the loose rocks appear as mere stepping stones.