As many of you know, I set aside my private yoga business last February to take care of my Mom who was sick. My Mom passed away on June 28. The past 10 months has been a journey of walking with my mom through the final stage of her life. It has been difficult, sad but also deeply rewarding to have spent so much time with her before she passed. Ronald Rolheiser in his book, "Holy Longings: the search for a Christian Spirituality" has a chapter on what he calls the spirituality of the Paschal Myster
y, pattern of suffering, death and rebirth as demonstrated and lived out by Christ in the crucifixion and resurrection. Rolheiser says that this pattern repeats throughout our lives. Each transition of suffering and death leads to new life and spiritual maturity. Paul, from the scripture, says it this way, "We don't give up. Our bodies are becoming weaker and weaker. But our spirits are being renewed day by day." Even as her body failed, my Mom experienced this inner renewal and continued to live graciously and lovingly till her last breath and now, is fully healed with the Lord.
As we are aging our bodies are changing...yes, we are all heading towards death. We don't like to think about it.To say this out loud is appalling and even sounds offensive. It is deeply counter to our cultural beliefs. Yet it is true. How we look at suffering and dying (even little deaths every day), shapes who we are in mind, body and spirit. Resisting death only leads to more suffering. Accepting suffering and death can lead to healing, new life, growth and spiritual maturity.
This transformational process is explored in the yoga teachings as well. The ancient yogis knew that the body was dying. They knew that there was meaning in and beyond the material world. Yoga, as a healing holistic practice encompasses the mind body and spirit. Whether you are dealing with chronic pain, physical injury, depression, anxiety or trauma, yoga as a systematic practice can help heal grow through your own suffering.