I love yoga. Not much more than a year ago, I really didn’t know much about it. I had not cared much about it for most of my adult life, and then I got a bit curious. I was drawn to it by the manner in which yogis seemed to conduct themselves: peaceful, caring, connected. I wanted to look cool, going into a class with the mat slung over my shoulder. I wanted to feel part of this community that many I knew were interested in.
Then, when I went for the first time, to a class at a studio near my home, it really changed me, and how I viewed yoga. It wasn’t just about sitting on the mat, clearing my head of the chatter from the day, and trying to focus on my breath. I got the message that it was bigger than that.
It was the candlelight at the Sunday night class that is still my favorite to go to. It was stretching my body, to its edge, and feeling the tension between joy and physical strain. It is feeling that my head is cleared of all that is not part of my practice. It is the intentional breath, both in and out.
And, more than anything else, it is the opening up.
Yoga, like nothing that I had found before, or since, opens me up. The first night that I went to a class at that studio, I cried. I mean, SOBBED. I felt like I had wrung myself out, like a dishcloth, of much of what I had kept bottled up inside of me. All that needed to be cleared, and let go. It was truly amazing. It still is.
I have a promise, to do yoga twice a week, at home or at my local studio, and to go to a class there at least once a month. It really helps. It helps me to pause, breathe and stay present. It helps me to set an intention that I wish for myself, and for the world. And, it opens me up so beautifully, and willingly. My body, my mind, my heart and my soul, all open and tend to stay open even after I am off my mat.
Like a lotus flower, I feel myself opening more and more, willing to trust, take risks, and see the beauty in myself and the world around me. Opening up, I am discovering, is the best way for me to live this brilliant life.