I’ve watched my yoga practice change over the years.
When I started practicing Ashtanga primary series, which is an intense hour and a half sequence, I was determined on getting my body into all the poses and progressing on to second series. The poses were the goal.
My time in Costa Rica on the Jungle Goddess retreat was more amazing than I imagined it could be. I experienced love and connection at a whole new level. It was a week of love, connection, loving words, feeling like I belonged, feeling accepted, feeling safe and held and cared for.
After all the excess is gone, what is truly important to me? They go hand in hand, but I were to condense it to 3 words, they would be Connection, Authenticity, and Health.
I was in a Yin Yoga training this weekend and our homework was to write down 11 things we are grateful for and 11 things that bring us joy. It helped to shift my perspective. We sat in a circle and shared 3 from each list. I got to hear 108 beautiful and heartwarming reminders of gratitude and joy.
No more of this "means to an end" bullshit. What the hell is the "end" anyways? I resolve to stop putting my life on hold until I achieve this thing or that thing. I resolve to stop trying to fit my life into a plan. We all know how plans go.
I could not have made all this beautiful food six months ago. The person I was six months ago had so many negative associations around cooking that the mere thought of it sent me into a panic.
I'm making yoga videos!! I’m partnering with a new company called Zenevate that's working on a platform to bring yoga videos to practitioners from their favorite instructors!
Confession: I have not been practicing yoga asana every day.
Not even close.
There are four channels of nourishment on the narrow road of the yoga, the spiritual path.
I went into it as a means of staying in shape. I had no idea that it would be the catalyst of an epic and incredible journey of transformation, healing, and growth that is still and always will be ongoing.
I surrender to it. I let go of the need to push harder, whether that's working out more, doing more, reading more. I stop scheduling so many things. I stop making too many plans. I straighten up my room, light a candle, take a shower, and just sit. Just be.
Last August, I started a new job and on my first day, I drew a tropical scene on my new whiteboard. A giant palm tree on the beach and a little boat leading to a structure in the distant water with a straw thatched roof. It was a reminder of where I actually wanted to be instead of in a cubicle in Chicago. Little did I know that 8 months later, I would get to see it in person.
I just hit “send” on an an application to be a photographer on Yoga Journal’s Live Be Yoga Tour. What an amazing end to 2016.
I’ve struggled with my body image, confidence and self worth for most of my life. I believed I was ugly and needed to lose weight. I put my self-worth in the way I looked.
What this yoga practice has taught me is how to distinguish when I'm being lazy and unmotivated (which isn't always a bad thing, but that's a different topic for a different day) and when I'm in need of rest and recovery.
My journey towards deeper self-love has taken years of making tiny changes, lots of mistakes, and many shifts in mindset shifts. When I made yoga a part of my daily life two years ago, it cultivated my loving body awareness.
Is peace something that we have to search for, something we have to work at to attain? Or is it something we are in our truest nature when you peel back the layers, at our very core, sitting alongside love and joy?
This colorful, loving, supportive and accepting community is exactly what I needed for my lately heavy heart to feel lighter.
One year ago to the day, I had a crazy thought that thrilled me and scared me. I wrote it down so I would not forget:
"I want to become a yoga instructor. I want to open my own studio. I want to be able to someday do what i love all day to be able to support us."
Get ready for a big breakthrough.