Practice, Practice...and all is coming.
Some of us started practicing yoga to heal an injury, illness, or a broken heart. Others started to spice up their fitness routine, quiet their mind, or their friend dragged them to a class. Maybe you haven't started a yoga practice yet, and you're intrigued. Whatever your reason for starting your yoga practice, you showed up and I bet you were forever changed. Maybe you didn’t notice the change after the first class, the second class, or even the 50th class, but the fact that you kept coming back meant that something amazing was happening.
I started practicing yoga in my early teens. After almost a year of bed rest from a stress fracture in my spine (dance injury), I started attending yoga classes at my gym as a way to get moving again. I liked yoga because I was “good at it”. I was flexible and body aware from my years of dance and I could get into most of the poses with ease (little did I know that I wasn't doing most of them correctly). My ego was on cloud 9…I was absolutely clueless. I continued with the occasional gym class over the years and eventually transitioned to a yoga shala. Then one day I walked out of a class and I realized that I was forever changed.
It took me over 15 years to really find my practice and I think it is because it took me that long to find myself. Every class I attended over the years brought me one step closer to finding my true north, but I was too lost at the time to realize it. The day that I knew my life had changed my yoga practice stopped being just exercise and became a lifestyle. I realized that yoga wasn’t about being the strongest or most flexible, but about maintaining the breath and finding a sense of calm in each pose. I am learning to silence my ego and respect my body. I am learning how to breathe and how to quiet my mind. Yoga is a practice, we are always learning, always growing. Some days I can stand on my head and others I can barely stand on 2 feet. But the strength, focus, and balance that I practice on my mat have transformed to willpower, compassion, motivation, and self-love off my mat. I am growing and I am learning to love myself. I see these same transformations in my fellow yogis.
Whether you are mending a broken heart or seeking an exercise routine, your yoga practice will fulfill your life in more ways that you will ever realize. And the beauty of your practice is that it is yours and yours alone. I can guide you through the asanas (poses) and pranayama (breathing exercises), but what you feel, what you learn about yourself- that’s 100% you. This is why I love teaching one-on-one yoga classes so much. The class is all about you and your needs. We can slow it down and take time finding stillnes in every pose or we can turn up the heat and sweat out all of your worries. Whatever you seek I will help you find it.
Practice, Practice... and all is coming.
- Sri K. Pattabhi Jois