The phrase “karmic reckoning” came to me several years ago. I was in a period of my life that seemed unfamiliarly and distressingly challenging. At the time, I began to lose sight of all the ways I typically cope with unknowns and difficult circumstances: Fear replaced faith, bad habits replaced healthy disciplines, and self-recrimination replaced confidence. And yet, even in the midst of the darkest months, an infinitesimal spiritual buoy floated in the distance. I could barely discern it, and absolutely could not reach it; however, it would briefly bounce into sight of my inner eye, and that distant awareness kept me afloat.

As I began to emerge from the panic of unforeseen upheaval and what felt like multiple failures, I could grab hold of that support from the Universe. I still was adrift, and had yet to regain my sea legs, but I began to move through the tempestuous tides. My mind clicked on, like a beacon for my soul: The subtle bodies within my physical body began to awaken as I gave them the attention they craved; I could feel God nearby, and that divine grace became the tow line of hope that I was finally able–and willing–to grasp.

With this renewed connection to a sense of the Universe’s guidance and protection, I noticed that I felt stronger, yet softer—powerful, yet peaceful. I began to regard the time “at sea” as a challenge that had been set before me, one that I needed to navigate, in order to continue along my destined path. Arriving on the other side of this struggle, I knew that I would have to address some things that had previously been easy to avoid, or that were hampering my soul’s expansion and evolution.

Thus arose the idea of karmic reckoning. Even before the “dark times,” I had had inklings of how our mental and behavioral, even our physical patterns seem to reflect traits and unreconciled duties or conflicts that come with us into this lifetime. As a yoga teacher and student, I found that I was adept at a wide array of postures. I also had learned, however, that asanas are not the end-all/be-all of yoga; they are the tools that align the physical body, so that it does not distract our attention from meditation and spiritual consciousness. And yet, I was mystified that one pose seemed to elude me: Revolved Triangle. I began to regard this pose as a task that needed to be fulfilled, in order to release ancient “baggage”: It was my karmic asana.

Still to Come: Part Two–Why Bother?

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