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“In the space between chaos and shape,
there was another chance.”

Jeanette Winterson, The World and Other Places: Stories

This quote came to me in the beginning of December, when I was searching for, well, meaningful words about the months yoga practice theme: transitions.

It has taken a few weeks of consideration to garner an interpretation. I had a hard time with it, and its kept me awake at night. As I continued my practice this month, I’ve transitioned into an understanding that I feel solid with. As is typical with most of my yogic notions, the physical practice draws an obvious parallel to our off-the-mat.

Let’s use Ardha Candrasana, half moon pose, as an example. Chaos in Ardha Candrasana …yikes. I’ll be ridiculous. Imagine falling down into convulsions and unable to get up or ever attempt the pose again. Your legs fell off at the hips. (Ok, stop imagining that, eek!) Shape…I take it to be perfection of the posture. Flawless fulfillment of Ardha Candrasana in all respects, physical and otherwise. There’s nothing left to accomplish in Ardha Candrasana heaven. In between are the chances, the flow. The wobble, the burn, the constant adjustment, the breath. Another chance to refine, to feel, to move, to change, to remain, to give, to get.

Like life, of course. Chaos is one extreme, perfection is the other. In between, chance after chance after chance after chance to continue. Our practice of transitions teaches us grace, patience, steadiness, and faith in the face of possible chaos. Compassion and acceptance are present in lieu of perfect shape. We gain the confidence to keep taking the chances, and the peace to let them keep coming. Rather than strive for shape or live in fear of chaos, we learn to enjoy the in between.

Let’s continue taking chances, together.