Let's talk yoga. Obviously, the most important topic! Still practicing, still teaching the kids, still loving it. I think in just a few weeks, I will have officially been practicing for a year—and what a year it has been! I have learned so much, grown so much mentally, physically, and emotionally, all because of yoga. I feel like I've gotten so much more back from yoga than I've put into it, in a way.
Yoga has given me:
- Physical flexibility that I probably haven't had since grade school. Hey, even I have to admit I've come a long way, baby! I remember when just trying to get into a split was torture. And now, I relish the opportunity—it kind of hurts so good. I'm getting there more in every practice, able to hold a little deeper, a little longer. I feel like I can twist further and am just generally more connected with my body's boundaries and capabilities. And the openings yoga has created, the physical sensation after a great practice is indescribable. You yogis know what I'm talking about. There is just nothing like that feeling.
I recently told my friend Melody that yoga has enabled me to be the ballerina I never was. Perhaps that is why I enjoy Power Vinyasa so much. It's a beautiful, free-form dance that allows you to explore your own grace, your own control, your own movement. I love, love, love, love it.
- A deeper connection with myself. I've changed a lot over the last year in this regard. Yoga has really helped me turn inward, look at myself, my thoughts and beliefs, and come to terms with the person I am and the person I want to be. It has helped me become more aware of my own strength, has given me encouragement and confidence. I've learned a lot about the power of the mind, the power of my being, while practicing. It's a bit difficult to explain, but somehow, yoga has both strengthened and softened me as a person.
- Beautiful new friendships and the ability to weed out toxic ones. I have met the most fantastic, interesting, deep, captivating people through yoga. Good, good, people. Fun people. People who deep down, you know you're really pulling for, that you genuinely care about even if you don't know them that well. I remember when I used to go to class just for the practice, for the learning. Now the practice is just part of the equation—I look forward to seeing my friends on their mats around me, look forward to seeing Dolly and hearing her wisdom, and just love to see someone stoked about a small victory..mastering a roll out, or an asana that was previously unattainable. We started out a strangers in a common place...now when someone is missing from class, it is so obvious. I feel their absence.
Yoga has also given me the equivalent of a relationship magnifying glass. I have more clarity about my relationships with people and feel like I'm able to make better decisions about relationships that feed me positively and those that don't. Now I won't say that it has helped me figure out how to evict all the negative forces in my life, but I'm getting there. I've realized that if I have a relationship that makes me feel uncomfortable, hurt, or judged, then I don't have a real connection with that person, and it's not a relationship I need to work so hard to sustain. It's a delicate situation, trying to pull out of relationships without hurting others. Sometimes it seems futile, but I think the most important thing is that yoga has enabled me to see what is really important to me, and in doing that, I have upped the possibility of attracting people with good souls, people who will teach me, encourage me, laugh with me.