I am of the nature to grow old. I cannot escape growing old.
I am of the nature to have ill health. I cannot escape ill health.
I am of the nature to die. I cannot escape death.
All that is dear to me and every one I love are of the nature to change. I cannot escape being separated from them.
My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.
I found this poem years ago. I was reminded of it today when writing to a friend whose father had died. It is attributed to the Buddha. Lots of things are attributed to him and while they might not be his exact words, they do sound like something he might say.
Your body and thoughts are of the nature to change from day to day, moment to moment. Next time you are in class, take a moment or two to reflect on this beautiful poem and see if you can find meaning in it for your yoga practice. Perhaps in a particularly tough hip opener. Take time to reflect on the moment to moment fluctuations in sensation. Remind yourself that while you are in the pose now, soon you won't be (as I often say, I am not going to ask you to hold it forever!). Watch your thoughts as they fly, changing from one second to the next. Be mindful that the actions you are taking now--your patient, consistent, and dedicated practice--will lead to change.
The poem obviously has relevance to places other than the yoga mat. I am not a preacher or guru so I will leave you to interpret it for yourself. I am going to pin it up on the door for tomorrow's hip opening workshop for the yogis to see as they come in!
Hope you are enjoying your practice.