Structure as an Access to Freedom
Last week, we moved out of our tiny houses for two days so we could put new flooring in. We proceeded to move everything back in the same week. fridges, stove, sinks, dogs, beds and all. On top of this, I had a very full week teaching private group classes, attending my year long yoga training sessions and helping assist with some pieces of teacher training. It's safe to say it's been a week!
Staying in the wall tent, where we resided for nearly two years while we were getting things running on the property, brought back memories. Some of them were wonderful. Many of them brought up challenge. I forgot about the cold nights, the constant noise. (from coyotes, to mice scurrying about, to the wind, it's kind of endless in a tent). I forgot we didn't have running water for a long time, that we had to configure a toilet. I came back to our lovely, tiny home on Thursday night feeling emotionally depleted.
It's funny when I've been out of a situation for a while how much I forget, how my brain is so quick to adapt. Living back in the wall tent made me very thankful for our houses now, and for all we experienced to get here. Looking back, I wonder how we made it through. I didn't have to wonder for long. I know exactly what go me through. Structure!
There's a reason I tend to be a bit controlling about my schedule and what I do with my day. I know what is has to offer me. Structure offers me freedom.
When I have a routine, something to fall back on, something that I know won't change unless I choose to change it, I am then able to adapt to the other changes happening around me.
When I know I meditate every morning when I get up no matter what, I also know I'm freeing up my mind for what is to come in my day. When I drink my turmeric chai every morning, I find comfort and freedom in the feeling of a warm mug in my hand, in the quiet moment, in knowing I can enjoy the little things.
Structure is why I love Baptiste Yoga. If you've taken class with me, you know. The sequence is pretty similar each time. There's a reason for that. (Well, quite a few- for today- we'll focus on one). When we practice a similar sequence, it can go one of two ways:
A).we can default and go through the motions
B). we practice staying curious- and in that, can explore new depths of a pose we've done hundreds of times.
The reason you too may love a class that feels similar every time is not necessarily for the routine, though it is nice. I believe it's for the freedom you then get to create within that. It's like a safe space, a container, a boundary, and within that boundary you are free to do whatever you see fit... to color outside the lines so to speak, to see what's available in the body in the moment in front of you- and to allow yourself to be surprised by what does or doesn't show up.
The older I get, the more I see that structure is not some rigid discipline, rather, a safety net.
I've talked it before, how routine has saved me during COVID times. There is comfort in knowing what's next. and yet we know in order to grow, we need to get uncomfortable. What if we could get uncomfortable within a comfortable space?
Perhaps that is what the Baptiste Yoga practice has to offer us... a comfortable space to get uncomfortable so that growth can occur.
This has been a year of discomfort... and I'm comforted in knowing that structure and routine can provide safe space for me... especially in the realm of yoga. My hope is you are finding structure that works for you to provide that same space.
To finding and creating safe spaces that encourage us to grow,