In the interest of self-care, today I’m reposting my first ever post.
Many of you haven’t seen this yet. It’s where the story began.
Today was the first day of my 200 hour yoga teacher training. My first thoughts are that I’m so glad I’m doing this now and with these people. I have been working the front desk and practicing regularly at the studio for more than a year now. Looking around the room I saw mostly familiar people I’ve practiced with many times. I’m looking forward to practicing and learning from everyone – not just Michelle and the IAY gals.
It’s All Yoga is the closest slice of yoga heaven I’ve ever experienced. The teachers, without exception, exhibit kindness, generosity of spirit, humor and wisdom beyond their years. The space itself is an inspiration in green living and the studio’s commitment to the environment is evident. I spend all my spare time trying to drag everyone I know into the studio to share in the goodness.
I’ve been flirting with a regular yoga practice for years. I took my first class more than 10 years ago and thought I’d never experience anything so amazing. Fast forward to summer 2006 when I did my first “summer school” (3 unlimited months of yoga) at IAY and I discovered that amazing feeling only compounded with regularity. School years take an obscene amount of energy the first few years of a teacher’s career and so my regular practice suffered when “real life” returned after the summer break.
Last summer I started “Desk Diva-ing” and the rest is history. Instead of exclusively focusing on my teaching job this last school year, I devoted several days a week to my yoga practice. Working the desk committed me to two days a week and sometimes that is all I could do. Other weeks I found myself on my mat many more – sometimes even at home!
Over this past year, my mat became my friend and sometimes my enemy. I spent a lot of time crying on my mat – frustration at my body’s limitations, envious of other people’s strength and flexibility, sadness because of some fertility issues, grief because of past trauma, family illnesses and deaths.
It wasn’t all tears (although sometimes it felt that way). Connection, joy, self acceptance, love, dare I say – divinity have also been present on my mat. Had those been there all along? Had I missed them always living in the past and the future? Would I keep experiencing them if I continue to practice?
This new regular practice helped me take my yoga (non-competitiveness, loving-kindness, openheartedness) into my classroom as well. I am looking forward to seeing what this deeper self exploration means for me and my students over the next few months as I delve deeper into a practice I’m falling in love with.
BTW, everyone has fallen in love; that’s easy. But as you know, “growing in love” is the challenge and joy of life!
The locus of concern, perhaps, for your Christian father, if he really got into it, beyond the physical manifestations of yoga practice to the religious underpinnings, has been expressed to me by Ravi. First, the incarnation of gods is a common event in Hinduism; so Christ is not unique (in their view). Second, followers of gurus often consider their guru to be divine, and would die for them, undercutting the Christian claims about the devotion of Christ’s disciples as evidence for the veracity of their claims. Streching and meditation, per se, and the enlightenment that results, are not likely to ring Dad’s bells, though we’ll have to deal with the misconceptions along the way dear.
So true… but let’s not forget Buddhism and the Christian wing of yoga. Interesting stuff.
Honestly, I’m just happy not to be so anti-religion anymore.
I think that by anti-religion, people mean anti-institutionalized dogmatism. The domain of religion is penultimate concerns, beyond the scope of science, purpose of life and proper behavior. Most sentient humans seek insights beyond the crass material, and those are in the domain of religious traditions and explorations. But when some claim all religions to be the same, they have not considered the unique goals of each, nor the prescribed means of achieving them.
As you know, in Buddhism, one goes over the wall into self-actualization, or returns to serve humanity. In Hinduism, one aims to reduce karma in the hope of a higher level of reincarnation, leading ultimately to at-one-ment, Nirvana, absolute nothingness.
Ravi is big on the theory that Christ visited India during his early years and interprets Christianity on the basis of Hindu wisdom. He wrote a review in Amazon.com about “Beyond Belief” warning Christians not to read it unless they are prepared to lose their faith, always reminding me of how fragile is our faith. Like any good friend would do, he keeps rubbing Gnosticism into my Christian face.
So nice to be on your mailing list for your yoga blog. Sounds like you’ve found a wonderful way to be more fully present to and accepting of your self. Yay for you!
Thanks for suggesting that self acceptance was even a option. It’s been a very hard road to here, but I’m sure glad to have gone on the journey. Much appreciation for all you have done for me.
Thank you so much for sharing this stuff – I am so excited to read more!
Thank you for reading and for the teaching. You’re an inspired teacher. I’ve got a lot to learn… can’t wait!
I cannot wait to read more and follow you on this journey. Anytime I do some yoga I feel so good, but do not make it a regular part of my week, so reading this inspires me to do so, and that is awesome. How many more might you inspire with your writing and your teaching?
thanks for your very kind words. inspiration? it’s an honor.
now, go get on your mat!
welcome to the blogging life! and congratulations on your new endeavor. i’m looking forward to reading about all the moments of divinity that are to come for you.
you have inspired this writing in many ways. if there is anyone to blame, it’s you:-)
thanks for your kindness and friendship.
awesome. can’t wait to watch you unfold more, you beautiful flower…
Alicia, thanks for the support.