Strike while the iron is hot is an idiom of good reminding to seize opportunities as they are placed in front of you. Opportunities come in many different forms, as do idioms, and metaphors. Some look more like doors, while others look like windows, or even more appealing like a big gold coin just dropped in the road. But really how often does anyone find a big gold coin? More often our opportunities are like old overused idioms, reminding us to take them as they present themselves. Worn out, tired, not that interesting looking or sounding, quite like the same old stories we have revisited again and again in our lives. Quite simply, opportunities most often represent themselves as challenge.
Once again it is the season of the challenge at Shree Yoga Taos. The invitation to rise to the opportunity to deepen your physical practice, your self awareness, your relationship with yourself, and your ability to persevere in many ways, attempting to take 21 classes in 30 days. This is no small feat. I have taken numerous challenges and finished all but one. There was a time when I placed myself in a circle outside consideration to take the plunge into this harrowing journey ever again, but now, as the season is once again upon us, I find myself contemplating it. So quickly we forget.
Hatha yoga, a branch of the bigger system that makes up the entire practice of yoga, is what we practice when we come to the mat. Often it is translated as Sun and Moon, and like many Sanskrit words it has more than one translation. Another more literal translation of the word is force. I once heard an interview with two master translators who insisted that translating words from their native tongue into any other requires not only literal understanding but also an element of poetry. Considering this sound advice we can more broadly inform our understanding of the word Hatha. Amidst the poetry and the literal translations is the ground where we can invite ourselves to understand Hatha yoga as the striking point of one level of consciousness, into another. Or as the momentum of force that carries us through the transformation of our consciousness. From the darkness of ignorance into the lightness of awareness. From the shadows of the moon into the glaring of the sun.
Hatha yoga, asana, in combination with contemplation, whether invited by your teacher or generated organically, and deep and focused breath, becomes the iron burning in the fuel of the fire of transformation. This is where the opportunist who has made their move to strike gets their pay off. It may be subtle and it may be grandiose, or just somewhere in between. More than likely it will reveal a more panoramic view of self and the world, of what is valuable and what is not, of what to surrender and what to carry. And though it may have looked like a door with no key, you find yourself beyond the threshold, looking back with a smile of satisfaction upon your face.
No matter the presentation of the opportunities in front of you now, I encourage you to strike while the iron is hot and let the heat and the force carry you through.
With love, always, in all ways, for giving,
p.s. You can sign up for the Autumn challenge any day this month and have 30 days from that point to complete your 21 classes. Who knows, I might be there too! More information on our website.