I’ve gone through different phases of yoga practice in my life for various reasons. Years ago, I practiced yoga to balance my athletic demands with the flexibility that yoga offers. I couldn’t connect spiritually and I would find myself impatient in a class longer than 60 minutes. I would get annoyed with anything that felt too “yogi” hokey or “hippie dippy” and had a hard time finding a class that felt right to me.
Today, Yoga is something I do on a daily even if it’s only 10 minutes. I have learned that Yoga is truly a personal experience and is a place I connect to without worrying how “good” I am at it. I would like to dedicate more time to getting to classes, but for now I’m accepting where I’m at and I try to remain judgement-free with my practice. I actually love playing with yoga and laughing through my practice, especially when I try something new. I try to see my falling as a metaphor for not taking life too seriously. We are all doing our best and it’s okay to make mistakes, fall and then get up and try again.
When I go into a yoga flow with my breath, it’s a reminder of my vitality, which I am so grateful for. As I move my body through the poses that feel the most challenging, I breath deeper. It always fascinates me how powerful the breath is as a vehicle to take me further and get me into the pose with more ease.
It dawned on me that in one week, three people I knew who were struggling all said to me, “If it weren’t for Yoga, I don’t know where I’d be,” or “Yoga is saving me.” In the book Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton talks about the crisis in her marriage and seeking yoga to figure out why she hated sex. She says, “So I went to yoga to do the work. To try to host my own reunion. To make myself whole in the middle of the time I felt most broken” and she was able to heal her way back to her life through yoga.
Yoga is a gift that we are all blessed to have in our lives – whether it’s going to a class, doing a yoga video or working on your own practice. It can become one of your most reliable companions – bringing you strength and flexibility, relaxation and energy, steadiness and clarity, and even deep, internal contentment.