I started practicing yoga in 2007, and it came at the perfect time in my life. I was at a stressful place, but with yoga I found balance. One of the most significant things yoga has brought into my life is passion. Until I found yoga, I had hobbies I liked, sports I liked, things I liked, but nothing I truly loved with a passion. Yoga changed all of that, and recently I think I fell even harder than ever.
I once had a good friend tell me that everyone experiences “the seasons,” as he called it. He said that our love lives go through the seasons, our careers, our lives in general; winter is always colder, spring is full of promise. It was wise advice for me at the time, as I was going through some transitions.
I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced a “yoga winter,” but I was just in the routine of things. I would go from class to class doing what I loved, but lately I feel I go from class to class loving what I do even more than ever before. I feel like I have re-fallen hard for yoga, and for the life it has given me.
Recently, I’ve dedicated extra time to preparing myself for classes. Practicing yoga even more often, and making my home practice an essential part of that. I think about and create sequences for classes in advance on my own mat, and make playlists. From the moment I set out on this journey I knew I would pursue “extraordinary” and nothing less. It takes so much energy, so much intention, so much practice and so much patience, but it’s so worth it. Lately, I have had a lot of unique opportunities, and one day it hit me that myself three years ago would have killed to be myself as a teacher today. I am excited to see what the next three years will bring. If I have learned one thing about this process, it is that you get SO MUCH MORE than you give, which is a huge motivation to put in the time it takes to hone your skill.
I decided to give more because I felt like I was stuck in a routine. In return I fell hard for yoga again, and see even more clearly just how I can make an impact in people’s daily lives just by getting to teach what I love. Practicing yoga helps you to feel calm, connected, grounded and gives you the patience it takes to move past obstacles in your life, one step at a time. I’ve fallen in love with the strength it’s given me physically, to help me with the strength it takes mentally in order to make it through any challenge. The physical awareness and flexibility on the mat only mirrors the mental awareness and mental flexibility that allows for you to just flow with things in life, instead of fighting against the current.
Both yoga and meditation have had such major impacts on my life that it really has changed the way I see things and the way in which I see. I think back to myself last year and I wonder if I would even recognize her, the way that she thinks or even her approach toward life and her openness about things. I used to take things so personally, but now it feels like a weight off my back knowing most people are usually so caught up in their own stuff that it’s more about them than it is about me. I feel so much lighter now, free of many fears I used to harbor, and have even let go of some of that ego stuff. Yoga has given me a greater awareness that perspective is everything, and there is always more than one.
Each day when I think about what I am most grateful for, yoga is right up there at the top of my list. Yoga has given me my life, I’ll give it the rest of my days in return.