I don’t usually talk about politics in a yoga setting and yet the May 5 Alberta election has got me thinking about the nature of change. Way back in the last century when I was in journalism school I learned that Alberta politics were unique in that one party would stay in power for decades only to be abruptly swept out and then the cycle would repeat itself.

I have written about cycles in the context of the political change we have just witnessed. Yet I see cycles, both big and small, reflected in my life each and every day. My current contemplation is to try to go with the flow of these cycles rather than resisting them. In my own life I have been doing this by gradually coming to terms with changes in my aging body. I know I can grieve what has passed, I can try to stubbornly hold on to what is present and I can choose to fully embrace that I am part of a cycle within a cycle within a cycle.

Each of us is at a different stage in the cycle of life and my current lesson is to acknowledge and learn from the vantage point I enjoy now. Some of the effects of aging are teaching me to slow down, take care of the needs of my changing body and enjoy what this stage of my life has to offer. I’m doing so by reducing my teaching commitments and nourishing my body with adequate nutrition, movement and rest.

Since I usually try to bring my thoughts into a yoga context, I also see this cycle present every time I come to my yoga mat and remain open to what is. I can grieve what I was able to do in my practice yesterday and stubbornly try to repeat it today or I can let myself step in to the current of change and see where it takes me. I can enjoy the awe-inspiring complexity of movement, breath and connection to Self without the need to push, strive or compare.

All of life moves in cycles of creation, maintenance and dissolution. Nothing is permanent and clinging to a desire for the impermanent to be permanent creates suffering. I would rather celebrate!

Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
Tomorrow be today.
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow