By looking at Transitions from various perspectives, Yasodhara Yoga European Network Teachers provide rich reflections for your practice.
The Stages of Transition
Consider the three stages of Transition:
- Ending, change
- A place of unknowing; patience and openness required
- Beginning, something new; allowing time for the new to emerge
Bring to mind a transition in your life and see it in the spiral of Light as you do the Divine Light Invocation. Then write about the transition. The following questions may help with your exploration:
- What happened before and after the transition?
- What was your response to the transition including your feelings?
- What were the obstacles?
- What did you trust in the process?
- What evolved out of the transition?
Identify the stages you went through with this transition and then draw a symbol for each. Place them in order in front of you and ask: what did I learn at each stage? What could support me in future transitions and what would I want to change?
Transition And Relaxation
In Shavasana, relaxation is the first attempt to surrender, to let go. As the mind follows the flow of the breath, the ripples of the mental lake slowly subside. With continued practice, the senses are gradually withdrawn and become still. Surrender is an essential action for anyone who wishes to lead a spiritual life. (Hatha Yoga – The Hidden Language, Swami Radha, p 221)
- Go into Shavasana and take yourself through a full body relaxation.
- Once the body and mind are quiet and receptive, think about a change or transition that you want to make and ask yourself: What do I need to let go of from the past to enter into the change I would like to make?
Transition and ‘Shedding’
The cobra has to continually shed its skin in order to grow. How many times does an aspirant have to shed the old skin to let the new being emerge? Each time it is resurrection that will lead to a greater re-birth. (Hatha Yoga – The Hidden Language, Swami Radha, p 147)
Begin with a practice and reflect on a current transition in your life:
- Is there anything that makes you hesitate to drop your current ‘skin’?
- What advantages do you see in a new, expanded ‘skin’?
- What would you like to create or experience in this new expansion?
Transition and Nature
Observe the various stages of transition in nature.
- Go for a walk and take photos or make sketches of trees/plants. A week or so later take the same walk and again take photos/make sketches.
- Place the two sets of images in front of you and observe differences and similarities.
- Chant and then look at the images. Make notes of what you are drawn to. What do you see? What can nature teach you about transitions and your experience of making changes?
Transition and Art
Look through your art projects: your sketches, recordings, dances, writing …
Choose one. Use this as an inspiration for a new piece. Try to make an exact copy, or change its size, or use different materials, or a different medium. Be inspired.
Do a practice and reflect on your work both old and new. Thoughts to guide you:
- What has changed? What has remained the same?
- What have I done to make a transition from the old project to the new?
- How does this reflect the transitions I am making in my own life right now?
- How does the transition apparent in my art today, inspire my transitions in life?
- What is my art of transitioning?
Transition and the Unknown
We have a responsibility to practice renouncing, letting go of the worlds we keep creating – mental, emotional and spiritual worlds….What is your world and what have you built? Is it the world you want to live in? In renouncing the aspects that are not essential for growth in your life, a new sturdier, healthier, more positive way becomes possible…. As you grow in strength, you will have the courage to step into the unknown. (Living the Practice, Swami Radhananda, p 170-1)
Warm up your body and then step into the pose, Namaste to the Past, asking:
- What am I ready to renounce, to say good-by to?
- What is not essential to my growth and requires change?
- What is the world I wish to step into?