“Yoga is something I do all day every day. It is a way of life.”
I began my practice like many on my mat and with a large focus on the physical asana aspect of yoga. I loved the strong deep asana and even when it was very challenging something deep within told me “yoga is the answer” and I kept going back for more. An injury that I received from one of my favorite teachers put a slow stop on my physical asana portion of yoga and this is when I expanded my awareness of the deep, deep wisdom of yoga. I could no longer practice asana and had to figure out how could I “do” yoga without going to an asana class? It was like traveling through a wormhole or falling into the rabbit hole to learn of a great universe below the surface.
During my journey with my injury I experienced the importance of the physical body because our body is the container of us. It needs to be functional and pain free or else it may negatively affect our mental and emotional state and get in the way of us showing up every day to be our highest self. I learned this as my joint worsened and I started to feel unhappy. I eventually had a total hip replacement and was able to get back to a more appropriate physical practice for myself.
The intention of asana is to balance our energy and to preserve our body from injury and a loss of resiliency so every day I practice asana to keep my body strong. I don’t always show up to my mat to practice yoga. Sometimes when I am outside in nature, I will do some movements with breath and then hold a balance pose. I am grateful to be teaching yoga because it also helps me keep my body strong as I share this wisdom with others. I know there is a degenerative process that begins around age 40 so I move my body daily to stay strong, limber and mobile and to age gracefully.
I love to be out in my garden, and this is a wonderful place to meditate and connect to the flow of life. I close my eyes and harmonize myself with all of the life source energy that is around me. I watch and listen to the hummingbirds, bees and birds and I totally immerse myself in the senses of sight and sound to harmonize with their life force energy. I think of it as plugging myself in to the vibrations of life to recharge my batteries. Connecting to my breath and just being.
I have learned that yoga is both the goal and the process. Balancing our body and mind is something that happens all day long. The wisdom of yoga has a path and limbs to follow to find peace and liberation from suffering and I study with my teachers to learn how to apply this to my life. I raise awareness to what is controlling my patterns and behaviors and working on shifting them is a daily routine for me. I am a witness of myself and how I am showing up in this life so I can overcome my hurdles to find peace.
I am aware of the effect of my sensory input to my moment by moment state of being. I manage what I allow into my body and mind through what I taste, watch, smell, touch and listen to. I barely watch the news, I eat foods close to the source and try to stay away from people who wreck my peace. I choose to spend time with people that make me happy.
Mindset is a huge part of yoga and the way I view everything is through a yogic lens. I feel the effects my yoga practice has had on me over the years and I am living the life I want to live. I am a work in progress and yoga gives me the tools I need to shift and find balance. The word for balance and harmony in yoga is sattva. It is like Goldilocks when things are just right, and I strive to find this just right position in my body, mind and soul moment by moment.