According to a recent study on Yoga in America, most people come to yoga seeking flexibility. I agree it is great to be able to bend over and tie your own shoes, but I would argue that the magic of the practice is really being able to cultivate flexibility in your own mind and life. I was reminded of this when I received an email yesterday from Nick, one of our past teachers in training. He reminded me it is always possible to choose love, even when the circumstances aren’t what you would have chosen.

Nick and his family have been dealing with some pretty tough circumstances since last May. Shortly after teacher training, he married Rebecca, the love of his life. Then, they found out they were expecting a baby. They were ecstatic. Then, they found a lump in her breast. All of this happened while they were preparing to move back to Nick’s home town in California. Any one of those events alone could cause stress, yet all of them together would certainly throw one off the deep end of the “life stressors” scale. Yet through it all,  Nick and Rebecca fell more in love with each other and savored the life they were building together. It was as if they were cramming a lifetime of memories into a few short months. Nicolette, their daughter was born December 16th. She was delivered at 31 weeks so that Rebecca could undergo more aggressive cancer treatments.

This is a snippet of a message I received yesterday morning from Nick.

“Today was a great day because it was a day of love and for me there was a lot to celebrate. The insane emotional rigor of this event has created more life within me than I could have ever known existed on my own. However you have already given me the greatest gift, a gift that allows me to see the love instead of the hate and fear. A gift that creates a space for me to be. The gift that allows me to express myself lovingly when others are perceiving negativity and fear, a gift that i use every day, several times a day. The gift of yoga

… you and Linda both taught me that its always ok to choose love over fear, and not take all this to seriously.  The main reason i have the strength to live my life the way i do is because of what I learned from yoga. The yoga you taught me allows me to be ok with things as they are.

… one of the reasons i am grateful for this cancer is because I’ve had a chance to use everything i learned from that Epic experience.”

Yesterday afternoon I learned that Rebecca had passed.

I hope and pray that the yoga, faith and a lot of love will get Nick and his tiny daughter through the next few months. This yoga stuff is powerful but there are also the realities of life. Nick took off most of the last 8 months to be with his wife during her treatment. I am not sure if they had insurance, or other support. If you want to help, you can contribute to their Go Fund Me page.

Whatever you do today, I invite you to “choose love”.