On the trapeze, there’s that moment of letting go of the bar behind, but not yet holding onto the bar ahead when free-space is the name of the game. It’s all about trust — that the bar ahead will be there, and in the knowing it was time to let go of the bar behind. It’s transition at peak performance.
Transitions are also a big deal in yoga. Instructors, often placing extra emphasis on the movements in between the poses, may take an entire class to encourage a seamless flow. So rather than focus solely on arriving into the posture, we can tune into our bodies and breath throughout the whole practice — both in the pose and on the way to it.
In vinyasa yoga, which is what I’ve been doing lately, transitions are the foundation. It’s about finding a way to feel grounded even if I’m balancing on one leg while lengthening my arm up into Half Moon. Though my body may waver (and it will!), when I’m grounded into my body and breath, I can be with the weirdness that comes from having no idea how this is going to end up. I can experience a sense of support, and rest knowingly in the unknown.
The transitions in yoga aren’t too troublesome for me, and the trapeze was fun! It’s moving through the in between moments in every day life that could use a tune-up.
When M + GL were little, we’d come back from music class or a playdate, and there would be this meltdown before the next activity began. Along with feeling disappointed (or angry) that the playdate was done, we were confused about what to do next…it was unsettling! That particular brand of meltdown doesn’t happen anymore, but we still have some difficulty in wrapping up one thing, and going easily to the next. In order to coax them from playtime to homework, I need to transform into a drill sergeant. It’s exhausting.
My transitions with career stuff also lack a little grace. When on a job, I’m completely consumed with the work — unable to focus on little else. Then after it’s over, I’m left feeling out of sorts, not knowing what to do with myself. All the nervous energy that keeps me on my toes while working dissolves into uncertainty.
With summer soon approaching, a pretty big lifestyle change is on deck — one less grounded as we travel, and less structured as our daily routine is displaced.
1. Slow Down
This is my go-to in yoga when I feel like I’m about to lose control (and fall). If I slow down my movement I can regain my composure to help find my way through the unknown. Also, when I slow down in life (off the mat), I notice a lot more. It’s like I give myself time to really see what’s around me rather than rushing from Point A to B.
2. Go With The Flow
Compile this with #1 Slow Down. Be more carefree. Have fun and enjoy.
3. Keep Practicing
Yes, schedules will shift this season which is why a grounding practice (like meditation, yoga or running) is so important. By keeping with it, we’re working on our ability to stay present… the best guide ever through transition.
How do you deal with transitions?