I was entering a yoga class this week, when I heard a familiar statement being spoken between the yoga teacher and a body that was passing through the building.
“I took a yoga class once, ten years ago” she said “Once was enough. I hated it”. I looked up and observed the middle aged woman, shoulders well rounded forward that I gently wanted to adjust. I nodded and smiled as I passed by the conversation, and quietly sighed one of my familiar sighs. I placed my old grey mat down on the faded blue carpet, and let my body settle into savasana.
That statement has hit my eardrums like a small gong with an uneasy frequency over the years. A stubborn resolve in gentle conversations getting to know new people when I am asked what I do for a living. It’s happened with family members, and with friends over campfires at the lake. In lines at grocery stores and taking a crochet class. This conversation comes up more than I would like. And I wonder how it happened, this hard core decision or conclusion that this one class will be ones only understanding and experience of yoga.
I suppose that if you were to try playing hockey, and hated hockey – hockey is hockey and you would write if off. Or baseball, or swimming or squash. One flavour. One decision. One experience that lets you make one committed resolve. Or if you went to a book club once fifteen years ago and hated the book and decided book clubs were not going to ever exist in your world. Or a painting class or a __________ . You get the picture. Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we let ourselves be sucked into the tunnel vision of a single experience?
I think of yoga like the most amazing multi flavoured, multi colored edible rainbow. One complete ancient master rainbow of awesome. Really – Yes – That fantastic. Layers of knowledge bound in this beautiful form. Let me explain, and likely as yoga is getting to be more mainstream, you may have heard some of these terms already. I swear I heard someone say pranayama in a sitcom this week. It blew my mind in the most decadent way.
The way in which each teacher lets yoga marinate in their own bodies based on their learnings and experience brings a unique flavour to every class. Just as you bring your own unique daily energy to class. Sometimes the yogi teaching has brought in flavours of nada or
sound, or bhakti – devotion or karma yoga. So many classes – beginner hatha to power yoga, mindful vinyasa to restorative, nidra to yin, flowing to gentle, meditative and more. Every single teacher is different, and you will find your fit. And when you do, STAY. Deepen your practice. Be disciplined. Let yoga unfold you. Let it teach you about surrender, how you are stronger than you think you are, and how beautiful a moment can be being with yourself. Learn to fall in love with your very own heartbeat.
Resolved “tried that once” bodies – I stare directly into your eyes with my soft brown eyed gaze, my hands gently holding yours – I ask you to try again and stay. Yogis unite, bring those bodies to class again. Besides all the amazing benefits you get from practicing and how it trickles into your everyday life, start by letting yoga be your salve in this crazy world. Find sanctuary on your mat. Sit under this yoga rainbow of awesome. Step out of the mundane tunnel of experience and be nourished. Let go of what was, and invite in the possibile. Live your life live.
– big love, Holly