It’s true that I think yoga is not the end-all-be-all and I often get frustrated with the shadows of the industry and lineages. And it’s also true that I still love yoga. And it’s true that I sometimes need reminding of just how much I love it and of how it completely changed my life. This morning in the group check-in at the beginning of my Yoga Reconstructed class at the Yoga Union of the Integral Center, 3 students shared that they’d recently crossed the “yoga threshold” and could no longer go backwards. And so, once again, I’m thanking my students for the memory jolt back to why I’m still teaching and why I still live the way I do.
You brought me back to the day about 13 years ago that it dawned on me, too, that a regular yoga practice was the biggest life game-changer I’d ever gotten my hands on. I was on my commute home from teaching school in Denver. I’m sure I was stressed out of my mind with visions of teenagers hopelessly struggling, piled up with papers to grade until midnight, coffee’ed up, sugared up, sleep deprived and basically driving straight towards the bottle of wine in my kitchen. I’d been practicing yoga for about 7 years already, but for some reason, it finally hit me that yoga was no longer a random therapy tool or just a luxury. Up until that point, I had treated my practice like dessert: I only got to do it in my extra free time and when everything else in my life was in order. On that day pulling over the hill into Boulder, it hit me like a ton of bricks that my practice (whatever that may be) was necessary… like drinking water. Without it, I felt like I was crawling out of my skin and constantly starving for something I couldn’t describe. That day I realized that I was empowered to push the yoga button, anytime I needed it. It was a big day for me. It was a major step in the direction of finding agency in my life.
Now, pushing the yoga button doesn’t require much more than a few poses, or a simple remembering to remember to feel my body. Lately, it’s often a gaze in a friend’s eyes or a deep breath that does the trick; bringing me back to seeing what really matters and that I have choice in how I engage with life. I don’t need the hours of physical practice or a perfect teacher or style anymore. But what I do still need is some kind of remembering to remember every single day. It’s real. And though everything has changed in the last 13 years… really, nothing has changed. So here I am. Still doing yoga.