By Turi Hetherington, RYT500, YogaMotion Creative Communications & Marketing Specialist
“The only time you ever have in which to learn anything or see anything or feel anything, or express any feeling or emotion, or respond to an event, or grow, or heal, is this moment, because this is the only moment any of us ever gets. You’re only here now; you’re only alive in this moment.”
~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
Rock solid, hard working, outdoor-loving, determined Norwegian with a great smile. So reads the beginning of my dad’s obituary. He was 90.
Although I moved away from home decades ago and his death was anticipated, peaceful and a welcome end to years of suffering from dementia, it was also deeply painful in ways I hadn’t anticipated.
At times I have felt like I was six again, teary-eyed and lost. To bring myself back to the responsible grown-up world, I have leaned on my yoga practice. But not the kind of yoga you might be thinking of on the mat. The thought of being restricted to the square footage of my mat felt too confined. Staring at the stars and moon, trail running with my dog as the sun rose over the mountaintops, watching the leaves fall from the trees – that’s what my body, mind and spirit longed for.
The same stars, moon and sun that have offered guidance and healing to generations were there for me too. To me, this too is yoga. It is yoga off the mat – making sense of opposing forces, finding peace in the pain, and finding my center amidst it all.
I feel blessed to have been present for my dad’s final savasana. Although he never practiced formal yoga, during his last days he appeared to be lying in savasana with a hint of a smile of contentment from a life well lived, a long practice brought to completion.
The morning he took his last breaths my mom and I were out on a walk around a nearby lake. The sun was rising and the autumn colors were brilliant. I have no doubt he accompanied us on that walk shining his love and warmth upon us.
You’ve probably experienced something similar, magical moments where time seems to stand still. These moments bring us into the present moment. The only moment we truly have.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
– Mother Teresa
Here in Bozeman we are fortunate to be surrounded by the beauty of the mountain environment and to see that splendor reflected in so many of our small town’s inhabitants. But just like nature, we too have bright, calm and clear days as well as dark and wildly chaotic ones. On those unsteady days, what simple actions do you take to care for your self? What is your yoga off the mat that helps bring you back into balance?
At YogaMotion we believe that Yoga is more than a pose. Yoga is a way of being, a way to find balance amidst the ups, downs and in-betweens of life. It is living in harmony with nature, your surroundings and your self. We practice this on the mat so we can take it off and into our day.
As a Greek philosopher once said, the only constant in life is change.
Turi lives in Bozeman with her charming British husband and growing-way-too-quickly teenage son. In addition to working for YogaMotion she is also the owner of Molte Wellness & Adventure.