So now the work begins. Not as if teaching yoga is “work.” When you love what you do, and get paid to do it in paradise, it’s hard to think of it as “work.”

But there is the work of being present. No matter if you’re at home or away on a yoga retreat, if you’re not present, you don’t gain anything.

I was talking to a friend before I left for the retreat. We were talking about how often you can look at the most incredible sunset and not even think twice about it. My friend, having never been to Europe, asked if he might like Spain. I said that if he couldn’t appreciate a sunset in Salt Lake City, he wouldn’t appreciate it any more in Spain. In other words, if you’re not present, it doesn’t matter where you are or what you have. But with presence, you will see the most simple of scenes and experience the rapture.

Again, our theme is The Journey. Here’s a poem by David Whyte that speaks to presence and the ground at your feet.


The road seen, then not seen, the hillside
hiding then revealing the way you should take,
the road dropping away from you as if leaving you
to walk on thin air, then catching you, holding you up,
when you thought you would fall,
and the way forward always in the end
the way that you followed, the way that carried you
into your future, that brought you to this place,
no matter that it sometimes took your promise from you,
no matter that it had to break your heart along the way:
the sense of having walked from far inside yourself
out into the revelation, to have risked yourself
for something that seemed to stand both inside you
and far beyond you, that called you back
to the only road in the end you could follow, walking
as you did, in your rags of love and speaking in the voice
that by night became a prayer for safe arrival,
so that one day you realized that what you wanted
had already happened long ago and in the dwelling place
you had lived in before you began,
and that every step along the way, you had carried
the heart and the mind and the promise
that first set you off and drew you on and that you were
more marvelous in your simple wish to find a way
than the gilded roofs of any destination you could reach:
as if, all along, you had thought the end point might be a city
with golden towers, and cheering crowds,
and turning the corner at what you thought was the end
of the road, you found just a simple reflection,
and a clear revelation beneath the face looking back
and beneath it another invitation, all in one glimpse:
like a person and a place you had sought forever,
like a broad field of freedom that beckoned you beyond;
like another life, and the road still stretching on.