I have been “practicing” yoga since 2000.
Don’t let ☝ fool you. Practicing is a pretty lose term around here… Back in 2000 I started with Yoga after a series of unfortunate minor events left me with 10% use of my left arm, a spinal fusion and 70+ extra pounds. You can read about that here… and my relationship with my yoga mat has been more like being “Facebook friends” with that person from high school than a BFF you have coffee with every day. “Sporadic” is a nice way to describe it.
My yoga practice started with the need to build strength. My original teacher was not “soft” or mindful. She was a drill Sargent. Needless to say, once I was operating at 100% physically and I didn’t see the need to “practice” any more.
From 2002 – 2011 I focused HARD on building a career and a body that I loved. My physical space was AMAZING. Sadly, my spirit space was empty. a void.
no duality of intention here.
In 2014, I landed a new job with a new boss who was not only a lawyer and a member of the C-Suite, but also a Yoga teacher. We’ll call her Bella until I get her permission to use her real name. Bella is probably the most mindful person I have ever encountered. Over the next 3 years, she worked tirelessly to ease and stretch my mind from my over analytical hyper lifestyle to a more centered space.
Yoga for the spirit, if you will.
Through another series of bizarre and sometimes unfortunate events, I slowed down. I focused so much on a building my spirit space that lost the beautiful physical space I had worked so hard for. I moved from overactive to sedentary. I stopped observing my energy and maintaining my physical self. I have become immovable.
I became a lump.
Fortunately, as my ceramics teacher has taught me, dried clay is still clay. All is not lost.
The 70 pounds that returned as a result of the decisions of the past 5 years gives me a lost to work with. I can make something really beautiful now that I have all this experience in both active and sedentary, in mind and in body.
I need a yoga practice. A real one.
the struggle is real
Part of the problem I have with yoga is it feels so inaccessible sometimes. Like you have to work SUPER hard to find a good teacher in an environment that you can afford that isn’t so far away that you lose HOURS in the process. I have tried free Yoga downtown, indoors and out, yoga at the Y and yoga at work. I have been to Yoga retreat centers. Nothing has really settled for me. I wanted Bella’s easy style right near me. easy.
So I put my purpose driven mind to work. I explored what I liked and didn’t like about all of the experiences I had with Yoga in the past. In the end, my “gotta haves” are:
- a teacher who
- is light but not goofy
- makes it ok to be right where I am
- encourages me to push past comfort just a little bit and to breathe into the discomfort
- a space
- that feels interactive without being a “whole class” experience
- that is peaceful (i just can’t do giggling girls in yoga)
- where I have everything I need, including a tissue
- that is close to home/easy to get to
- that is warm (not hot)
- where there are no distractions
Once I really figured out what my yoga world needed to be, I just put it out there.
Dear Universe. I need that ☝ right there. Thanks.
I think found it
Enter Adrianne (http://yogawithadriene.com/) and her awesome YouTube channel. Her “TRUE – 30 day Yoga Journey” is changing the way I work and live. I think I may actually have a REAL Yoga practice now.
Today she focused us on the in and the out of breath. It sounds basic but Wow – talk about #Duality. You can’t have one without the other, they are expressly different in their purpose, yet they are not opposites. #MindBlown.
Adrianne is a fantastic teacher online. I have a home practice space that is perfect. I think it is a go.
I plan to stay with her 30 day program, I am currently on day 5. Obviously I have a lot to learn. She doesn’t know me, but she has become my new BFF. I’ll keep you posted on our journey.
What I know about Yoga is that it is a great place to start when you can’t figure out how to start – no matter what the topic.
Since then I have learned that yoga really forces awareness of the #Duality of self. You have to keep your mind and your body working to the same end. You cannot “multitask” in yoga. You must be aware of your WHOLE self for your yoga to be effective.
This is my goal
This is my reality
It is going to take more than 30 days to get there…