There are pivotal moments which become tattooed onto your heart during the process of life. Personally, one such moment was lying in shavasna (corpse pose) after a yoga practice four years ago. There I lay, marinating delightedly in all the positivity and presence I’d created during my yoga practice. This is gorgeous, I thought, I need more of this in my life! It was like my soul had re-remembered a long-forgotten secret and was celebrating the fact that we’d been re-introduced with inner fireworks and fizz-poppers bouncing off the walls of my enlivened limbs and brain.
From that evening in Germany to today yoga has been my friend throughout all of my ups and downs. Its been my constant sunshine, my confidant, my sanctuary. I believe with all my heart in this ancient practice to heal you, to love you right where you are, to reach self affection and intimacy and catch glimpses of your divine purport.
I don’t go to church. I go to yoga: I find my God there and we meet amongst potent thoughtlessness, the lull between the in and exhale, amongst sweaty limbs and dedicated quietude that ignites in union every God-given facet; mind, body, soul.
Given the gifts yoga offers me, I feel its time to drop down to a deeper level in my understanding of yoga so I’ll thus be equipped to share all I have with others. Yep, next February will see me starting a six month Yoga Teacher Training course.
My heart is so full with yoga right now that I want to share with you just how remarkable it is. Here’s why I invite you to begin your own love affair at your local yoga center:-
1) Walk into your local yoga community and you walk into friendships with likeminded souls. You will meet other lights in this world, dedicated to shining from the inside out. Yoga devotees tend to hold a torch for other areas of health and wellness and so I’m sure, like me, you’ll pick up passions in nutrition, or essential oils or meditation as well as a myriad of other life-enhancing goodies. Your yoga community can be the catalyst for some of your most beloved discoveries; friendships, life-altering conversations, education, health information that shifts everything in the right direction. Showing up at yoga can be the first very brilliant step in uncovering a fountain of love community that it waiting to offer you a sense of pride, purpose and support.
2) Yoga wakes us up from sleep-walking through life. Its a conscious practice which rouses us from bad dreams of not being enough, not having enough, and heads us in the direction of self discovery, self love and knowing how strong, how capable, how beautiful we are. In a nutshell, yoga is self confidence. It cuts through the crap of to-do thoughts and petty pre-occupations and reveals the real, authentic, magnificent, unshakeable You.
3) The peace generated on your yoga mat trickles into the banks of your nervous system and imbues your life off the mat. The calmness, the presence, the clarity and admirable commitment to yourself spills into your relationships, your interactions, your priorities, your daily experience. Far more than an exercise, yoga is a way of Being which, given a chance, will grace your world until the moment you depart.
I can honestly say, nigh every great self help and spiritual teacher that has touched my life through their teachings and writings has a dedication to yoga. That, I think, speaks volumes.
4) Like many, I have suffered from addictive tendencies; drink, drugs, cigarettes. Yoga has been my biggest advocate in helping me to overcome that knee-jerk desire to give in to these emotional pulls. Yoga buys Time, Presence, Self Love and Comfort and under these conditions, addictions have no latch to grab onto and therefore no choice but to slip away.
However your inner discontentment manifests- in the lure of maxing out credit cards, eating too much or too little, gambling-know that yoga can be your port in the storm.
5) Of course, its bloody good for your body too, let me not forget to mention that:-) The wonderful thing about this practice is there’s always somewhere to go, always another asana (pose) to approach. You’ll get your body into places, balancing poses, twists and shapes that you thought impossible. And when you evidence the seeming impossible this translates into other areas of your life. You begin to ask, what else can I do that I thought I couldn’t?
I know, I know with classes often being approximately $10 a pop its not the cheapest. Its this fact that puts a lot of my loved-ones off. But do we hesitate to spend that on a couple of wine bottles, or a night out, or something that catches our eye in the store? Like with time, its often not the lack of money that’s the issue, its that its not being prioritized and therefore only the monetary scrapings of the bowl are available, ie, nada for yoga.
Many yoga studios, like mine, offer community donation classes where you could roll up for free, or offer a small contribution of whatever you can manage in gratitude. They also do promotions and challenges. For example last month, for $100, you could go as much as you wanted and if you made it to class everyday a yoga mat and private yoga session with the owner would be your prize. So look for studios which offer the same financial incentive.
And you needn’t go every day (I never have), once a week is fine. Once you’ve been introduced to the charms of yoga you’ll no doubt be inspired to You Tube yoga practices from the comfort of home to compliment your yoga classes. If you’ve got young children, a home practice would be a wonderful thing if getting to a studio frequently is a stretch too far.
Reading about yoga, my writing about it, can only jab a clumsy finger in the direction of where it can take you and your life. As Ashtanga Yoga Teacher, David Williams, says…
“Before you’ve practiced, the theory is useless. After you’ve practiced, the theory is obvious.”
So go, my friend, go! Better still, go with a pal. Embark on a new mind/body/soul adventure.
As we say here at Bright Side-and at the close of a yoga class- Namaste, ‘the divine in me bows to the divine in you.’
Its gorgeous going somewhere where people recognize and acknowledge your divinity. You deserve to be Seen.
Make a beautiful and bright day for yourself. See you next time:-)