Given that the Northern Hemisphere is currently in its darkest time of year, it seemed fitting that at last week's Underground Yoga class in Vancouver, ambassadors Suzanne and Frankie lead over 200 of us through a practice that honoured the darkness within us.
why we should honour the dark
We talk a lot in yoga about light: honouring the light within us, placing our fingers and feet lightly on our mats, celebrating and seeking light in others - but we don't often talk about darkness.
We met at the Sun Tower (like that one, Alanis Morrisette?), exchanged our belongings for a pair of wooly socks, and were lead downstairs to a candlelit room.
what yoga in the dark sounds like
Unlit candles in jars being knocked over. Bodies gently crashing onto mats. Scattered and sincere apologies as rogue feet and arms accidentally meet mat neighbours. The constant and rhythmic wave of inhales and exhales uniting each body in the room.
embrace the darkness
The dark is a space where anything is possible.
In the dark, you are perfect.
In the dark, you nail every pose.
In the dark you can cheat in navasana or do savasana for the entire class.
In the dark there is no comparing, no judgement, no limits to what is possible.
experience it yourself
You don't need to wait for an organized Yoga in the Dark event. The next time you practice, close your eyes. This is how yoga is meant to be experienced: in your own body, where the only thing that exists around you is space.
As we move away from the darkest day of the year, take some time to explore who you are being in the dark so that you can fully appreciate all the light that 2013 will bring.