If you know me, then you know that I have been practicing yoga (consistently) for well over a year. It’s one of those things that brings me perpetual joy, clarity, and abundance to my life. When I began my practice I was unhealthy, in pain and unhappy. I’m not skinny now, by any measure, quite frankly I still have a way to go, but I’m stronger, more flexible and physically more aware of my body than I was prior to beginning my yoga journey. My pain on the other hand? Totally gone. There was a time that I was in the chiropractors office 2x a week, receiving acupuncture and massage at least once a week all because I wasn’t listening to my body. As a result of yoga, I no longer have pain in my body. There is still tightness in certain areas, after all I sit all day at a desk, but for the most part I’m no longer laid up on the couch with a heating pad every night, which is fabulous considering I’m not 90! Happiness on the other hand, is still enshrouded in mystery. I have no recollection of this feeling, yes there have been fleeting moments of joy, events and occasions that were full of laughter and good times. That was the level of happiness that I knew. It never went higher or further for me. So, this idea of being happy, well it just never seemed possible for me. I can honestly say that as of right now, I am not unhappy. I am somewhere in the middle. I credit yoga for this too, and all of the wonderful people in my life who allow me to be in this space of growth and evolution. Who do not demand an answer or an explanation for what I can’t really explain. I know that through my practice I develop awareness of my body, and in course I develop awareness of my mind, where it goes, the sensations it creates within me. There is more balance in my mind. I feel sad, I feel angry, but I am NOT angry, I am NOT sad. Those feelings do not define me, nor do I chase them down the rabbit hole. It’s a practice, which I return to daily. Yoga is not on the mat alone. I get to use what I learn on the mat, off of the mat. It’s easy to focus your attention when you have a gaze point, it’s difficult to focus that attention when your mind is buzzing and years of conditioned behaviors want to send you down the familiar path of frenzy. Quieting the mind, realizing that everything is like the breath, rising an subsiding, that is an art worth embracing.
This is where meditation comes in. It is my favorite part of my yoga practice. I love it more than savasana. For the last few months I have been working to create a space for meditation in my home. It’s futile really, because if I can meditate covered in sweat and with the sound of 20 other yogi’s breathing beside me, with my eyes closed, then what does it matter what my surroundings look like? The truth is, they don’t. What is true for me at least, is that my home doesn’t embody the calm energy that I get within the yoga studio. Even if my eyes are closed, the surrounding energy is restless. That’s another excuse isn’t it? I suppose this is why I haven’t gotten to do it yet. I know that once I do I will be changed forever, in the same way that yoga has changed me for ever. I’m going through so much change right now, it’s exciting and powerful. But old demons are still around, demons like resistance for example. I know my body and my mind are saying, meditate. But quite frankly I’m a little scared of it. But isn’t it necessary to do one thing each day that scares you? I hear that’s true, and quite frankly I believe it. Growing, quite literally means, to expand beyond. Whether that is size, mass, mental awareness, emotional intelligence, to be more than you started as. Right now, I know that in order to grow I need to reflect on where I want to go next in life. What I want to do with this beautiful life, where I want to take this divine body. What is right for me? To do this, I need to deeply go into that space within my mind and listen and filter what is there. I need to listen closely to what it is trying to say to me so I can work from a place of awareness and not a place of fear.