There's a series of twists in the Ashtanga Yoga practice whose challenge, so it is said, isn't their physical difficulty (they aren't difficult, compared to other asana) but in the positioning of the gaze--the practitioner must look into her past while remaining steady and grounded in the present.
Now, if you read my latest newsletter (or this blog, come to think of it), you'll know that I've been stepping away from yoga as a disciplined practice, that it, for now, has stopped resonating quite so strongly with me. But that doesn't mean it isn't part of my being, a philosophy whose structure and values I find so ingrained in who I am (it's been close to 18 years since that first class, after all), that to extricate myself from it would be impossible, even if I wanted to, which I don't.
I'm not sure when this most recent shift occurred, but it was gradual, an overwhelming desire to be on my feet, to be outside, to be on my own trumped anything else. Anyway. It's a rebalancing, and the scales will stop swinging, eventually.
This wasn't a post about yoga, but apparently, it is. It's about where we've been, knowing that--not forgetting it. But not forgetting isn't the same as living in/longing or pining for. It's clear sight, it's a "yes I did those things and I'm proud or I'm sorry (depending on the situation), but I'm here now. In this body, in this present."
We can't move forward by looking back, true. But we must stop, turn, and send a 'thank you' and an 'almost there' into the wind to be carried back to the self who is always behind, always waiting for the future to come.