“The strength of a tree lies in its ability to bend.” ~ Zen Proverb
One day, a couple of years ago, I backed out of my driveway to run a few errands. Seatbelt on. XM Radio tuned in. Sunglasses in place. I was headed down a main thoroughfare here on the island when I noticed something new on my windshield. I had a stowaway. A green anole was clinging to the outside of the glass, looking in. If you’re not familiar with the little green lizards…well, that’s not possible, because they’re everywhere. They stay mostly outside sunning themselves on lawn furniture or nestled into the potted plants, but from time to time curiosity draws them inside the house where they get very confused by the lack flowers and humidity. The lucky ones find an open window or door to slip quietly outside to freedom, but the unlucky anoles become dehydrated little crisps, no bigger than bugs, stuck in a corner or under a table.
But on this particular day, I was joined on my ride by an anole who was not only curious and adventurous, but also very brave. Not long into the drive he ventured over to the passenger’s side mirror and peeked around the side of my car, back in the direction we had come from. Maybe he was feeling a bit of regret for having left home. Soon, he ran back to the driver’s side to make sure I wasn’t going to sweep him onto the concrete with a swish of wiper blades. And then he settled in, as content as a lizard can be, with his tiny feet on a polished surface, traveling at least 30 miles an hour faster than he had ever traveled before. When I got to my first destination, he wasted no time hopping off the car and running into the closest green space. My little hitchhiker had arrived in one piece, thanks to his ability to stick and to move.
Join us for a community-wide Beach Yoga Event on Saturday, April 15 at 8:30 AM. Hear Katie O’Hara from the Chamber of Commerce speak briefly about the benefits of being good beach stewards. A gentle Beach Yoga class will follow with all proceeds going to the local Beach Advisory Committee. EVERYONE IS WELCOME! We meet on the sand near the South Beach access at Collier and Swallow Road. JOIN US!
In yoga terms we have “stick” and “move.” We call it Sthira and Sukha; steadiness and ease.
Sthira is our base, the strong foundation that keeps us grounded in our yoga pose. Sthira is steadfast and firm. Sthira is commitment and courage.
Sukha, on the other hand is how we move. It means “good space,” and signifies the ability to bend. Sukha is joyfulness and gentleness. When we open our arms and lift our heart in a Five Pointed Star, we are experiencing Sukha.
The key is that we can’t really have one without the other. We can’t be in “good space” without the security of a stable foundation. Flexibility begins with a strong core. While we can reach our arms and legs away from one another in a full body stretch, we experience the stretch differently when we understand where our center is and from what point we are stretching. It’s similar to the earth as it rotates in a constant state of motion, yet anchored on an axis that keeps it from floating aimlessly into space.
My little anole tourist, on his cross-island commute, demonstrated both Sthira and Sukha on my windshield that day. He was steadfast and courageous, moored to the glass, as the car propelled him forward and the wind threatened to send him flying. But he caught the rhythm of his fate and settled into his new-found space, choosing to enjoy the ride. And when it was over, he started fresh, in a brand new place, after an exhilarating adventure and with a story to share.
We all need some “stick” and we all need to “move.” Sometimes life pulls stability out from under us, and we have to reestablish our foundation. From there we explore and grow; we stretch and move. And when we find the right balance between our Sthira and our Sukha, we are able to fully enjoy the ride.
Laurie Kasperbauer, RYT 200, enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes. Laurie is also an active Florida realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. She can be reached at Harborview Realty, 291 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Island, or by calling 712-210-3853.