Greetings from my ‘hidey-hole’,

‘Hidey-hole’ is a term my friend Erin uses to describe the little corners her pups will crawl into for play or a nap. I like the term because its playful and makes me think of all the little nooks, forts and places I would create as a country kid in the woods.

Pre-2020, on days with heavy snow, I used to make posts reminding folks about the value of slowing down and taking pause. I used to find value (still do) in getting snowed in and how everything got really quiet. But I get the feeling, discussing the need for pause might be met with an eyeroll or two after these last 2 years. As though we’re living the ‘hurry up and wait’ joke often associated with weddings, except we’ve been riding the breaks for some time.

We are in a situation, where changing your plans at the last second is understood and socially acceptable. The word ‘safe’ is used regularly and in a context of not only self-preservation, but of soul preservation too. Boundaries and distancing are encouraged and being around people now facilitates feelings of anxiety. While this is certain not to last, I think we might have also found ourselves in deep layers of contemplation during this time. For example, people have taken the time and reevaluated what was working regarding living spaces, jobs, diet, climates and more.

In yoga, teachers often use dialogue with words like: contemplation, reflection, observation, chalana (churning). Chalana (pronounced: cha-la-na, soft a) is the lesser charming parts of ourselves being unveiled to us organically. We dont get to chose how chalana is delivered-so the experience can be rough. Sometimes chalana presents as ‘monkey mind’, the Buddhist term for being distracted by thought. Other times chalana might be a lingering feeling of discomfort. Everyone’s chalana is different because our path on the road of life has taken each of us different routes. We may have shared experiences, but with differences.

I invite you to consider the concept of chalana during your practice or time of reflection. Consider the moments you’re uncomfortable in your mind to take pause and observe what this is trying to show you. And maybe even having the word, ‘chalana‘ in your vocabulary can give you some measure for future practice whether you’re joining from the studio or your own ‘hidey-hole’.

Be safe,