When I took my first yoga class I was just eighteen. When people ask me why I love yoga I think back to that first class. For the first time I was filled with a feeling of calm and peace as though I was finally home. I wasn’t in need of anyone or anything. At eighteen my identity was undoubtedly formed by my friends. My emotions were so consumed by young love all I could think of was my boyfriend.
So, for me to walk out of an experience with a sense of myself in a new way was liberating. This one class set me in the direction that led me on a life time journey that has opened doors, experiences and direction while giving me an avenue of self expression in sharing this gift to others.
Up until now I have lived my life in the mode of spontaneity (maybe at times chaotic) and independence. I am now at a new phase of life. Married.
The dynamic between two people. The stress of a new life style and finding myself within this new coupling. Now I have to ask myself what would I suggest to someone and what has been suggested to me?
OH Yoga! Go to your room and do yoga! It helps to center back and remember the calmer side of just being there.
It is so easy to forget what a profound insight my first yoga class gave me. It is so easy to forget the humility when my motivation is to teach, express and to turn others on to what I do as part of my every day life style. But now I return to the original intent. I return to the humble spirit that reminded me of myself. For some reason I, like others, face the resistance of pulling myself away from a powerful stubbornness to center myself. But this new chapter may be akin to a new advanced posture. One where my muscles are weak and resistant.
I am a good student of Yoga. I tell my students that the asana that reveals the resistance is the one to practice. Consistent practice of this stubborn posture eventually straightens the weak areas and brings flexibility to the areas of rigidity. The real outcome to this consistency is that suddenly one day this pose that you fought and that fought you now has become your friend. A welcome retreat from the storm.
Yoga is an exercise but it may also be seen as a metaphor for life situations. The inhalation is acceptance the exhalation is letting go and on and on. The practice of Yoga helps us move through those stubborn unpopular times with grace, strength and fluidity. But only if we do it.
The lesson here to remember is that as we do yoga, meditate and breathe more deeply in our classes or practicing at home, it’s the big changes in life that bring chaos that show up as the next advanced yoga pose. I can always return to that connection to “home” when all that is around me feels unsettling. The chaos magically shifts to calm.
My wish is that this new Yoga Pose of mine is one that I can hold for a very long time.