Contraction and Expansion, Yoga of Life

Lately I have been doing a lot of yoga and breathwork – in the Dreams and Yoga class that I offer with yoga teacher Lindsay Wilson, along with classes in Weaverville’s yoga studio with Mary Morgaine Thames, and recently at the retreat in Georgia where a wonderful yoga teacher worked with us. Since moving from Los Angeles, I have only done my yoga practice by myself at home. There is something about doing it along with others that magnifies and intensifies all of it.

In my bed, in that half-awake liminal state, I feel the poses still working on me. Stretch your heart to the sky, shoulders back, lean back. Now fold forward into child’s pose, close your heart into your thighs, rest and protect it. Breathing in, big breath, lean back. Breathing out, let it all out, fold back into yourself. Expand, contract. Contract, expand.

I have been gestating in a process of utter transformation for the last years. I see it now. For 20 years I was a minister, public speaker, traveling constantly, big crowds, public life, living in Los Angeles – expaaaannnnddding  into the world big time. Then I resigned, began doctoral work in depth psychology – probably the most introspective subject there is to study – my marriage ended traumatically, I had a nervous breakdown, moved the mountains to live alone, become a hermit living in the middle of “no-damn-where” as my friend Ruth describes it. Connnntrrraaaaction into interior life big time.

For the last year or so I have been feeling myself moving back into the world, coming out of cocoon state, readying for a new phase. The periods of expansion and contraction are now shorter and more dramatic. Out, out, out I go for days or a couple of weeks, deep into the world; then in, in, in I go contracted back into myself in a big way to balance the expansion and bring myself back in. Out, in. In, out. Out in. In, out. Breathing with the body that is my life. Expanding and contracting the body that is my spirit.

I’m beginning to get the drift. This past year has been very intense as I learn the next life rhythm, but the transformation is happening. I see it and trust it. This is Nature. I am not in charge of Her; She is in charge of me. Nature will take charge of us if we let Her, invite Her, trust and sign on with Her as our Teacher, the Teacher of all teachers. I signed on long ago. Who am I to complain if it is scary and difficult? I submit to Nature with respect.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe out. Breathe in. Life is about balance. Balance is supreme.

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3 Responses to “Contraction and Expansion, Yoga of Life”

  1. ljcollins Says:

    I so, so needed this today, Tayria. Yes! After my 20+ years of expansion, these recent years of contraction have felt so foreign and uncomfortable to me. I don’t know myself in a state of contraction. Thank you for reminding me of the back and forth, the value of both states, the natural process that works in her own ways and times. Whew!

  2. Tayria Ward Says:

    I am so happy this speaks to you Laura. Our journeys have been similar in a number of ways. And thank you for the lovely comment, did you see I put it on my newsletter announcement? I really appreciate your kind and sensitive words. Sending love.

  3. ljcollins Says:

    I did! Sending great wishes for your new phase of expansion.

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