On Monday I attended a memorial service for a friend’s husband, who died suddenly in an accident the week before.  What stood out to me most after the service, in addition to the sheer tragedy of it for my friend and her daughter, was that I feel like I missed out, I wished I’d gotten to know him better.  Everyone who spoke of him described him as being bold, and being extremely energetic and driven.  They described that when you first met him, you knew he was someone special, that he never met a stranger, and that he had lived so fully.

As too-early deaths often do, I’m reminded to live my fullest life now, to do and go for what I think matters, and to be fully present in the experiences I have.  He gave us a wonderful gift in his example of how to live fully, to be fully committed to what mattered, and to experiencing all that life has to offer.

Yoga is a practice that encourages us to live fully; our practice on the mat is simply training and preparation for life off the mat.  One of the things that keeps me coming back to my mat day after day is that I feel more alive, I feel more whole, and I feel more empowered when I practice.  This week in class, we will practice with radical expansion, with rooting into the foundation and expanding in all directions from there.  We will support ourselves with strong shoulder integration and challenge ourselves with a variety of hand balances including one armed handstands and vasistasana transitions to hanumanasana, and back.

With the empowerment of practicing asana fully, bravely, expansively, maybe we will be able to live more fully, bravely, and expansively too.  For me, this means actively pursuing goals I have set for myself.  There are a few I’ve made significant progress with over the last couple of years: taking the leap to live somewhere totally new (coast-to-coast move), sharing what I love so much with others (yoga), and doing work at a place whose mission aligns well with my values (job change a few months ago).  I’ve started chipping away at another goal of giving back to the community, though there is much more to do.  There is much more to discover, learn and experience.

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