When was the last time you rolled down a hill?

When was the last time you rolled down a hill?

For me? It was earlier this year – on a yoga retreat overnight in the desert. Someone said “who wants to race down the sand dune rolling?” My arm shot up with such exuberance and excitement that I swear it nearly shot off my body. I ran over.

Four of us lined up – ready, set, go!

And we started rolling – I wasn’t expecting the speed – nor was I expecting the scream of “ah! you’re going to run into each other!” from the crowd. The thought never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t be able to open my eyes (my instant reaction upon the scream) or they would become full of sand (they did). I closed them back up and decided the best thing to do would be pivot away from the group to avoid a collision. A moment of fear hit me – I can’t see anything and I’m going SO fast. I felt the panic start to take over.

And then? Complete surrender.

Complete surrender at not knowing where I was going. Trusting that the universe would guide me down the dune. Trusting that this at some point would end.

And then what happened?

I started laughing. I started laughing more deeply and fully than I have for years.

It was so much fun! Surrendering to fun.

When I finally came to a stop one more unexpected thing – the dizziness. I didn’t even know a brain could tilt that many ways. There was no way standing was going to happen. I was seeing a hundred of everything and it was all moving in many circular directions. The entire world looked different in its multiplicity and movement. I could hear the others laughing. And my laughter hadn’t stopped.

I went to the kirtan at Shambhala tonight and as we were chanting the memory of this moment came to me and I was completely filled again with that memory of laughter. My heart felt full and I had a huge smile come across my face. I do again now, as I’m writing this.

Through restorative yoga and yoga nidra (in particular, though certainly it’s the union of all the different yoga I have been fortunate enough to study and practice) I have discovered a pattern – I tend to look back and focus on the hard moments, the painful ones, the difficult ones. I cling to them and hoard them. Wear them often as an armor. As I continue to connect to my yoga practice I am starting to become lighter. Allowing these moments of pure joy to fill my entire being. To let them to be there. To smile. And to, once again, feel the intensity and fullness of laughter and happiness – to know that I can close my eyes, surrender, and let the universe guide me – and nothing bad is going to happen as a result.