Back in February at the same time we decided it was finally time to have a baby, I signed up for a nine month Anusara Immersion program.
For the past eight months, I spent one weekend a month practicing asana and exploring Anusara, Tantric, and other schools of yogic philosophy with an amazing group of yogis. For eight months, they watched Maya grow. This weekend, they met her.
I was just a few weeks pregnant when I wrote the following essay on the meaning of the first principle of Anusara yoga.
Opening to Grace
Right now, to me, opening to grace means relinquishing the illusion of control in order to surrender to the divine.
If proper Attitude is a balance between effort and surrender, my challenge is to let go of my effort drive. The drive to do more, push harder, set more goals, make more plans, and take on more projects can have an addictive quality and interferes with balance. Resolution, willpower, creativity, and enthusiasm, crowd out mindfulness, quiet, harmony, and acceptance.
It is my practice on the yoga mat that regularly reminds me to release and surrender, opening to grace and a balance of essential heart qualities.
My husband and I are expecting our first child in November. Even the first few weeks of this pregnancy has broken down any illusion of my control over it. No amount of effort on my part ensures a happy outcome and healthy child. There is no perfect dose of vitamins, exercise, rest, or extensive research that guarantees a healthy delivery. In fact, indulging a desire to control every aspect of pregnancy is not only futile, it may be harmful as it will inevitably lead to frustration, worry and stress. While I can be a partner in creating this new life, I am not in charge of it; it is the work of the divine. This pregnancy has driven home the undeniable truth that only in surrendering to the divine, can I truly become a partner in creation.
Over the next several months, I will work to balance effort with surrender both on and off the mat for, at this moment, that is what opening to grace means to me.