“Widen your downdog,” says Baron at my very first intensive class with him. Widen my dog? Huh? A wider stance brings more freedom to the spine but less stability to the pose. If you had the choice between freedom and stability what would you choose? This question stuck with me since taking my first Baron class and I often ask myself this over and over not only in my poses but also in my life. This is the very question that gave me the answer and courage to leave behind my high tech career and jump started my yoga teaching journey. I continue to ask this question with the intention of finding happiness again. Lately my teaching has been feeling like a J-O-B. In doing some reflection, I’ve come to realize that I am once again struggling between freedom and stability. Teaching at least six classes a week provided some stable income (at least on paper). But why is it that the more money I make, the more miserable I am and more broke I feel?
So I’ve come to grips with letting go of two classes and taking a loss with the paycheck. As soon as I surrendered my stability, I instantly felt this weight off my shoulders and feel like I have a sense of freedom back. There is an amazing power to surrender. Stability is over-rated! There are bills to be paid and responsibilities to take care of, but these should not dictate how we live our lives.
Gaining my freedom from dropping two classes will definitely rock the bank, but I am choosing to be adaptable during this change. The Universe seems to agree too because while at Jasmine’s book fair today, I picked up a book by Eric Carle and turned to a story titled “The Wolf and the Dog” and it goes something like this:
There’s a poor and hungry wolf that met a well-fed, well-groomed dog. The wolf says hi to the dog but the dog is disgusted by his filthy clothes. The wolf went on to compliment the dog’s nice outfit and plump cheeks and points out that the dog clearly doesn’t know what it’s like to starve. The dog says he works for a master who takes good care of him. The wolf wants to work for the dog’s master too he says. The dog says his master is looking for more help if the wolf can be a watchdog. Sure says wolf. As they walk to the master’s house, wolf notices something around dog’s neck. It’s a collar says dog. Wolf asks, “what’s a collar for?” Dog explains that watchdogs are often tied on chains outside their master’s house. Wolf immediately decides to turn around and thanks the dog for the offer. Wolf says he would rather be hungry than chained up like a slave.
Stability is over rated. Freedom is the greatest gift. It is the path that leads to happiness.