How to Exist with Uncertainty
Yoga During a Crisis
A friend of mine recently had a health scare regarding a fierce disease that affects many women, and she contemplated what life would be like if she was to receive dreaded news. After many tests, second opinions and prayers, we were fortunate and grateful to hear that all is well.
After hearing good news after months of being on edge, her husband casually said to me in passing, “now we can get back to our beautiful lives.” Life was “on-hold” for my friend and her family until they identified their fate. A doctor had told them that their potential nightmares can safely be put behind them. This stayed with me. To them, this was a detour, a messy pit stop at the side of the road riddled with anxiety and worry about the future. My friend shared that during this unsettling time, she was having difficulty being present with her children, found it hard to focus on basic tasks and did not feel like socializing. This is understandable when faced with intense periods that cause us to contemplate our own mortality.
How do we show up for life, our children, our work, and our relationships when living in fear? How do we remember an inherent basic law of living the human experience; that all form changes and nothing stays the same? We know this intellectually, but to ride it out consciously seems, at times, impossible.
Yoga gives us a sacred opening to understand how we perceive and navigate through the world, including how to exist with uncertainty. It is our belief system that sets us up to move through uncertain times with grace and kindness. Some use challenge to open up to the possibility of love, while others close down into fear and resistance where we try to protect ourselves from pain, grief, change and challenge. As parents we even try to protect our children from feeling and experiencing pain. We forget the main deal; to have the human experience, is to have pain. How we move through it the differential component. This will strengthen our ability to move towards discomfort with more courage, empathy and love.
Being on a yoga mat is a wading pool of resistance. Our mind is wrestling to stay present, our bodies are wrought from unprocessed experiences, coupled with busy lifestyles. What yoga asks is that we lean in. We are encouraged to feel the tension in our bodies, observe our thought patterns and witness its evolution. This will change our relationship with resistance to sturdily stay the course.
What lies beyond the resistance is joy and space. Our soul knows this. A yoga practice can support bringing that deep knowing forward into the light. This ability to be the watcher of our thoughts can help us to more comfortably stand in our uncomfortable pain while staying connected to the purpose in our lives, even through times of uncertainty. Understanding the mind is at the very essence of Yoga, whatever life brings through our human stages and ages. We are never quite the same when change occurs. We emerge a new being; scathed with experience, compassion, and strength.
Sari Nisker-Fox is a Toronto-based Yoga & Fitness Instructor, Life Coach, Wellness Entrepreneur and is passionate about supporting every vibrant life seeker.