Inhale: Who am I?  /  Exhale: I don’t know.

My greatest freedom is found by dismantling who I think I am; dissolving my attachments. I am evolving through an involution.

India is a country that is my teacher and a great unraveler of my identity. She is a difficult place to reach and for many, is a difficult place to explore because she is ultimately a mirror that identifies personal attachments. If you cling to daily patterns and norms, you will suffer greatly in India. If you chose to surrender, you will find grace and be embraced within her dance of color, shaken up in her bewildering wildness, given rest in her holy stillness, and life as you know it will be utterly changed.

Experiencing change is a universal promise. Residing in the spirit of hope and grace is practicing Yoga. In it's midst, your focus must be on gratitude. Gratitude is liberation. We must not resist. We must lean into. Yoga is changing the trajectory of energy into empowerment. 

Things in your life are changing. If you are not seeing and experiencing blessings here and now, the only one in the way is you. It’s that simple. The world is your inner mirror and how you choose to view it is your choice, alone. In other words, you must discern what has power over you.  Suffering will always lay the foundation for compassion to bloom - if you chose it. This transformation-by-fire opens eyes and hearts to unity.

How are you handling your suffering? How are you viewing your suffering? Yoga is not about avoiding or being immune to miseries or sorrows. Yoga is about having one eye out and one eye in. You must allow yourself to authentically feel what you feel, but here is the key. You must know the emotion is fleeting and find blessings within it to liberate yourself from further suffering. You must find the Gift and claim it. 

I was sick in my ashram bed in a cold and damp room. Instead of spiraling into woe, I practiced Yoga, which was a focus on Gratitude. I felt grateful that I was able to brush my hair and clean my face. In contrast, a woman outside the ashram didn't have arms to clean her face or dress herself. Gratitude. Gratitude. Gratitude.

The rain and damp was inescapable. My scarf was soft and warm. 

The noise was unavoidable. The collage of sounds became a living Om.

Yoga is Gratitude for the here and now. We must not take anything for granted. Our work must be that of the consistency of gratitude. Yoga-off-the-mat is the Living Yoga, claiming compassion, empathy and ease even in the space of dis-ease, returning to our sacred center again and again, when we recognize we have stepped out of alignment. We must live with discernment to redefine and appreciate all glories and aspects of life which are ever-changing, as the Universe does things for us, not to us. 

I am in continual process of dismantling myself to find my Self.  As I unravel who I think I am, I fall in love with everything. 

Lily Kessler