Posted by: Bruce Black | December 1, 2013

What Comes Next?

As the year comes to a close, I sit on my mat between poses wondering what will come next.

It’s an impossible question to answer, I know, yet as I move from pose to pose I keep wondering.

What new poses will I learn? Who will enter my life unexpectedly and become a friend, and who will leave it without saying goodbye?

How will my life change in the months ahead? What new books will I read? What new words will I add to my journals?

Who will be my teacher? And will he or she be able to help me grow as a yogi and as a human being, expanding into a new version of myself?

As the year comes to a close, I shut my eyes in Savasana and gather in my mind all the teachers who helped me reach this stage in my practice.

Their faces hover near mine, their voices whispering in my ear, encouraging me to have faith in a future that I can’t yet see.

They urge me to explore new poses, new ways of being, and inspire me to push a little farther past where I think I can go.

They tell me to keep practicing, to listen to my own voice, and to become my own teacher.

Without their support, I doubt I’d have been able to come to the mat after surgery earlier this year with the same enthusiasm, curiosity, and wonder that I felt before the surgery.

With their help, I learned how to recognize little miracles: how when I fall out of a pose, I can enjoy falling; how when I bend forward without reaching my toes, I can take pleasure in the experience of bending forward; and how when I sit and breathe, I can release my breath and watch it return, and remember the miracle of life.

As the year comes to a close, I realize no one can know what comes next. But we can offer heartfelt thanks to our teachers for encouraging us to keep looking for miracles.

I hope you’ll discover miracles on your mat and in your life at this season and throughout the year.

Practice Journal: What miracles have your teachers taught you to look for in your life? Write: 10 min.



  1. This is beautiful. I love how thoughtful you are on the mat and your journaling practice.It obviously seeps over into how you live your life. Thanks for being such an example and inspiration!

  2. My first yoga teacher took me, 60 pounds overweight with a blown Achilles tendon, unable to even do down dog, and modified for me and made me feel welcome in the process. I took the attitude, “I am here to make everyone else more proud of what they can do.” It was not the yoga way of thinking, but I didn’t know that then. As I began to lose the weight, I was able to recover and learn down dog, sun salutations, my favorite “mother Earth” flow, but still had trouble with Tree Pose. All the others were standing for what seemed like an eternity and I could only manage a few seconds. My competitive nature emerged and I blurted out in frustration, “Why can’t I do this?” To which my gentle yoga teacher softly replied, “Perhaps you want it too much!” Now that was a real wake up call for me! That was 4 years ago and while I’m still no giant redwood, I enjoy being the weeping willow and sway and bend and IT’S OK!

    Blessings to all of you and Nameste. Bruce you are an inspiration! Those friends who wait in the wings to meet you will be so lucky!


  3. What comes next? This is a thought that is often on my mind! Thank you for framing the exigencies of living a life in such a gentle, forward-reaching light.

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