When I think back to my early days as a new practioner, attending the Washington Street studio for classes, I largely remember the light in the room. The way it moved through you as though a blanket of warm, safe energy reaching to hold you.

My early days of practice were all about finding the light. Maybe that was something I was seeking. Maybe it was something I needed as I worked nights. Maybe it was something I was trying to cultivate within myself.

Over time, my relationship to yoga and my practice changed, and even when I felt as though I was on a good track, the darkness would come into my practice from unexpected places. I was going through a lot at the time and I knew it in the moment. I remember through training the dark can come to surface. I don’t think it surprised me as much as it confirmed my own suspicion that chalana (churning) was in full effect.

This isn’t to say yoga introduces darkness but makes you aware of the darkness that already lives inside. Things we bury, things we hoped to move on from, they can resurface.

So I ask you, do you believe there is both light and dark inside of you?

It’s a rare bird who says no. If you do say no, I might ask you to sit with that idea a bit.