What Yoga Means to me?

I originally started practicing yoga years ago to supplement my long distance running by following the same DVD tutorial again & again. I suffered perpetual injuries from many miles of pounding my weary legs on cement.

At the time, I cannot say yoga was always something I enjoyed. I DID NOT! I did it to counteract physical trauma, and reach my burning desire to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I accomplished that goal!!!! I needed to stretch after overtraining. However, I found it difficult to focus on poses as it takes inner strength & calmness to hold the postures. I was unbalanced physically and mentally.

I am an oxymoron. I am a hyperactive person, and some may even describe me as a “shit show.” I love whirlwind intensity. My mind and body moves sporadically from place to place; I continually look backwards or forwards. Being in the present, and allowing my mind to rest has been something that I have needed to focus on learning and building in recent years.

Yoga has grounded me to reflect, live in the present, and find inner peace.  

In recent years, I have progressed from the DVD to practice at various studios and individually not only as a physical need, but to strengthen and transcend my mind & soul. I still have erratic moments, but overall, I feel I flow better.

When I travel now, I seek out studios in foreign locations to refine my skills with other like-minded individuals and learn new techniques from other yogis. How wonderful is it to meet other spiritually-inclined beings while practicing in beautiful natural surroundings. I am able to combine my adventurous wanderlust with yoga and quiet meditation. Yin and Yang.

My practice has included…

  • After a day of intense rock climbing steep cliffs to reach remote sandy beaches in the Algarve, Portugal, it was an easy transition to meander from my bustling hostel to an intimate yoga studio to practice with a calming Portuguese instructor. She coached me on positions that I have never tried.
  • Yoga classes in Tucson, Arizona after following the hotel running group through residential communities with cactus and dry semi-arid land as our backdrop
  • Falling asleep during savasana in a tranquil El Salvador studio after an arduous afternoon stumbling through the jungle. I struggled trying to keep up with the local guide in order to reach the Taminique waterfalls. I close my eyes feeling the warm sunlight peaking through the studio’s window slats as night fell while standing in warrior stance. I quickly bonded with my American yogi-doppelganger, and despite living in 2 different countries on 2 different coasts, we have become good friends. We dream to meet again at a yoga retreat in Central America. 
  • A Pacific Northwest coast girl roots lie in the fresh rainforest and mountains. It is only natural for me to complete tree poses next to the lush Whistler spruce, western red cedar, and hemlock watching gondolas pass by.
  • And simply, just taking a moment at the end of each day to chill and self-reflect leaving behind stressful personal and work commitments in the comforts of my own home before my eyes flutter asleep.

I know now, spending even a brief amount of time, even if it’s 15 minutes is an investment in myself.

Yoga is a relationship that I needed to develop to love myself, God, the earth, and the universe. Like most relationships, it is fragile, constantly changing, and the amount of effort puts forth, can lead to a more-rounded “me!” The journey is often the most sacred part rather than reaching the destination. I did not have a pivotal moment when I felt deeply passionately in love with yoga. It simmered, slowly became an integral part of my life, and without, I would be empty.

I love that my practice has progressed to a spiritual union of physical and mental. I am eagerly looking forward to the new journey by registering in the 200 hour Yoga teaching Training immersion this fall to strengthen my practice.

With yoga, I have clarity and focus.

Namaste

 

 

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