Feeling Naked in the Ocean of Alchemy

Parivrtta Trikonasana

I’ve never been comfortable with the feeling of being vulnerable. In fact, the word alone used to get me defensive.

Vulnerable. Naked. Exposed.

That’s how I feel at the moment. Nearly naked in the Ocean of Alchemy.

I was looking through my photos and found this one, where I’m all twisted in Parivrtta Trikonasana on the coast in Nicaragua. Before I put it in my yoga newsletter this week, I paused. I felt the moment totally differently than I did when the photo was taken.

My heart said, “Yes, this is what it is to be vulnerable.” It is a precarious place, barely balanced.

And yet there is harmony to be found here. There is an incredible availability to be open and see what the next waves bring. If this is the Ocean of Alchemy in which I surf and swim, then it means I am simply becoming the next version of myself as each wave washes through me.

This pose, to me, always feels incredible. Revolved Triangle asks you to balance, cross over yourself, and touch both Earth and Sky. Somehow in the smooshing together of internal organs in the twist, something always opens in my breath.

So, I write this blog post on the edge. I’m okay with being on the edge of this wave. It’s a refreshing feeling here, because whether I jump off, fall off, or the wind carries me somewhere else, I know I’ll be okay.

I know that the feelings of vulnerability and uncertainty and overwhelm are like the deep cleansing twist I find in this pose. Sometimes when I play in Parivrtta Trikonasana I am solid. Sometimes I teeter and sometimes I fall over. When that happens, I just try again with a bit more awareness and intention.

If you ever find yourself feeling like you’re barely treading water, my suggestion is this: flow with it. Find where the current is willing to carry you without so much struggle. Do the best that you can in each moment and be okay sometimes with feeling naked to the elements. Because when you let the waves wash through you they can actually clear out what’s been weighing you down.

And know, deeply and truly, that you are not alone. Because we’ve all been there. It’s a delicate and wondrous part of being human.

My suggestion (for myself and for you): Go to your mat and physically ride the waves of your breath. Flow. Twist. Bend.

Break open the parts that are ready to shatter. Let the pieces be carried away by the tide.