Except there was.
Alex and Chenoa gave the Forrest Yoga community a new song called, “Fire Song.” We didn’t have the words written down, but Alex and Chenoa patiently led us through the chant. Despite my wariness about chanting, I found the song to be beautiful and soothing in its rhythm and repetition. I was also deeply touched. In Native American tradition, songs are used as a means of identity and ceremony, but they are also gifts. To give a song is to give a piece of yourself. Therefore, it is a high honor for the Forrest Yoga community to be gifted this chant.
Speaking of fire, there was plenty of it heating up at the Monday morning practice, the last part of the conference. We were a smaller group as many folks had to leave before then so we gathered in a smaller room. For what we lacked in numbers, we made up in energy. After a weekend of soaking up the yoga and community, I was juiced up and pumped for our last gathering. Ana reigned us in to settle down as she set intent: “Can you let yourself be enough? Can you allow yourself to delight in the pose and let that be enough?”
We moved into some, as Ana would say, “deep and exciting places” in the hips. I had an absolute blast playing with all kinds of challenging poses from weather vane to road kill to a new pose Ana called, “Archaeopteryx.” Now I can’t pronounce it, but I was excited to actually rock out in this pose, which is a variation on yoga dandasana where you straighten the leg of the foot on the floor and move it around in a circle. I’m still in disbelief that I did it!
[Correction: Originally I had written this pose as Coelophysis. While also an early dinosaur, this is not the correct dinosaur inspiration for this pose.]
The icing on the cake was Alex and Chenoa joining us at the end of the practice for some final chants together. As we joined our voices in the fire song, it struck me how well this song fit with the overall theme of the weekend. Our first night introduced the fiery energy of the guardian teachers. Saturday’s theme was about bringing life to the areas of our bodies where we self-deprecate and dull our inner brightness. We stoked the fire on Sunday by exploring where we block off our gifts that we have to offer and re-kindled our spark. With the blazing energy of the final practice, we ignited our community together in the joy of the practice. Finally, singing together we ended the ceremony and smoldered the coals, but we each had a match to take with us: the fire song.
As I sat on the plane home, I was filled with feelings. Happy anticipation to be back at home. Yet fearful about being back to the same work uncertainties and challenges. As I felt a cloud of sadness start to dim my happy afterglow from the conference, I found myself humming the fire song. The vibration soothed me and reminded me that even amidst the darkest feelings, there’s a powerful song I can connect to. I can breathe, hum to myself, and let that be enough.