A Short Story of Falling

I came across a beautiful poem today by Alice Oswald, which begins with “It is the story of the falling rain to turn into a leaf and fall again” and closes with “…the story of the the falling rain that rises to the light and falls again.”

The poem, called A Short Story of Falling, seems so evocative of autumn, the transitions of each season, the cycle of life, the circular nature of our ecosystems. Yoga too is a circular ecosystem, each breath anchors us to the present moment, if we let it, and with each inhale and exhale, we are given the chance to begin again. This is a valuable offering when too often time feels like it is running away from us.

By the river, we are surrounded by nature, the ever-flowing river a constant source of inspiration. What better place to encourage the mind to be still, which is the ultimate goal of yoga? We weave in stories from visionaries throughout the ages. When we find joy and inspiration in our yoga practice, the benefits flow like the waters of the river. Actually the benefits come when we practice, regardless of what we seek, which is a great gift.

I find yoga helps when I fall, it helps me rise to the light again. As night follows day, it is impossible to remain in the light at all times, despite our great desire to do so. But to be able to see clearly that the light will always cycle around again, however dark it seems, and that however many times we fall, we will rise again. If we can learn to dance lightly within the rise and fall, so much the richer our experience of life. We are part of nature, not apart from it.

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Joanna Blundell