One year ago, Yoga Union made it’s home in the Breathe Building – a vibrant, eight thousand square foot, sustainably constructed wellness center in SE Portland, OR. Originally built in the early 1950’s, prior to our arrival, the building was a factory. By ‘factory” I don’t mean it was a gray building with conveyor belts and smoke stacks. I mean it was a place where people were told precisely what to do and exactly how to do it. I mean it was a dry cleaners, an office space, and a wood shop. It was a place where people came to punch their time card for a steady job and a predictable life. Where things were black and white. No surprises.
Today the building has been sustainably reconstructed into a multimodality healing center. The roof is lined with solar panels which heat water that flows through tubes, heating the floor to a comfortable 81 degrees, which can be felt under the barefooted ‘students’ exploring the space within. The environment is comfortable, and so are the people. But they’re not just comfortable because of their environment. They’re comfortable because they’ve learned to relax into the uncertainty of life.
The building provides a space for these folks to explore the opaque art of humanness and the relationships that make it up. Inside, they’re practicing embracing all the ambiguousness of living. When they move, they’re not anticipating outcomes, paybacks, or even results. They’re feeling into each of their moment-to-moment, unique, direct experiences. They’re opening their senses, they’re moving without destination, they’re ever-changing while sustaining a constant state of arrival. They are searching, but they are not lost.
These people have discovered that their destination is the moment at hand. So they’ve traded obligation for exploration, destination for sensation, and certainty for reality. They practice and they live for the moment.
They do this because they realize life was never certain and it never will be. They’d been sold down the road with a bill or goods, but it rotted from the one and only thing that truly is certain – change.
They’re not buying the factory lies anymore. They’re trading black and white, not for ambiguous gray, but for full-spectrum color; which they know reveals itself only to those who honor rather than abhor the unresolved in life.
They wouldn’t make life certain even if they could. Certainty is boring. These people are tired of the same ol’ same ol’, and they’re excited about change. They see change as a beautiful and inspiring part of life. They view predictability is drab fiction. They experience life as poetry because they trade certainty for mystery and because they believe in epic living.