This post comes after a few days of feeling that winter “lag” (that hard to get out of bed and wanting to eating popcorn, watch movies and drink hot chocolate all day vibe) only to have the first half of yesterday filled with ultra-inspiring yoga classes, which is only to say they were filled with ultra-inspiring yogis. We all experience moments where we feel lethargic, slow, heavy or deflated. It is the action of standing up, or closing your eyes, or breathing deep, or getting outside AND THEN being very, very quiet in the moment that allows real, personal truth to speak through. It might sound like this, “take a nap” or “eat a snack” or “go to yoga” or “do your laundry”… you get the idea.
Your body and your heart KNOW what you truly, deeply need to be fully healthy and happy; we’re usually just too distracted to hear what our soul has to say. “Yoga is concentration”, so if doing laundry isn’t something you yearn for, why not call it yoga? Since the word “responsibilities” terrifies or grabs at some of us, why not call them “rituals”? If cooking, cleaning and going to work feel impossible, why don’t you realize it’s just an opportunity to nurture yourself, loved ones and your home? Stop denying that you are LUCKY to be able to cook and clean, these are some of life’s greatest gifts. Try smiling while you climb these daily mountains of muck, the more you climb the more it feels like hayfields and sunshine.
This is why I practice Ashtanga Yoga. After three years of dedicated practice I am able to do things I never thought possible. I have fallen, cried, slept in, shown up late, overeaten, drank too much and STILL the practice speaks for itself. As long as I return to practice things continue to move forward and change happens. Beyond my own practice, my life has seen a dramatic shift. More things I never expected or even asked for: I opened Grateful Yoga at the age of 26, I’ve been in a relationship for 5.5 years (?!), we are hoping to build a house, there are horses in my life again, needless to say I am settled in central VT and to my surprise I'm really, really happy.
Now I wonder about my teenage dreams to become a writer and travel the world. I realize these possibilities still exist. When I was younger, I had my mind on the end goal with no idea how to get there. Yoga has shown me the way. For this I am forever grateful and will continue to practice until the day I leave this planet. My teacher once said, “You don’t have to believe in anything to practice yoga, just do the practice, it works.” This takes some of the pressure off. Even on the days when your mind won’t quiet down, your car gets a flat tire or the cat pukes in the bed, yoga is possible in each of these moments.
Thank you to all my students who come to the studio with a shitty day and bad attitude in their back pocket. You always leave with a smile, some gratitude and a shifted perspective. It's not easy, but somehow it works. I’ve said it before, but the yoga we take into the world when we leave our mats is the most challenging and the most rewarding. Namaste friends, be good to yourself, practice on!
May you be filled with loving kindness
May you be peaceful and at ease
May you be well
May you know happiness and the roots of all happiness
Om shanti shanti shanti