Yoga has been an important part of my life since early 2012. I started practicing when I was 21 years old. I got hooked on the way it made me feel every time I practiced. Not only did my body feel more balanced and full of energy after the practices, but my mind was clearer, too. I was in a better mood. I felt calmer, more centered.
It was almost like this was a spiritual practice, as well as a physical one. It was almost like, if I worked at combining a meditative state–a state where I am consciously trying to elevate the vibrational qualities of my thoughts and feelings–with the movement of my body, I could access higher levels of well-being and serenity.
Of course, as I soon came to understand, this was the whole purpose of yoga. To unite–to yoke–the body and the mind.
Today I had my first real practice of yoga after having given birth 3 and a half months ago and after not having practiced yoga in about a year. And I felt it all again. I felt the suppleness of my body, the concentrated effort of my mind, the feeling that I was connected with something higher (GOD IS WITH ME was my personal mantra during the entirety of the practice), that I was not only practicing the muscles of my body but also training the feelings of my soul.
It was wonderful. Honestly, it felt like the first time. Better than the first time, even, because I was returning to something I thought I had lost forever.
I joined Rachel Brathen’s 108 website (Subscription is $14 a month) because I really can’t afford to join a studio right now. The classes are varied and for every level. This seems fitting, since I started out my journey learning yoga at home through online videos, after all. Back in 2012, YogaToday.com was my site of choice. Now it’s Oneoeight.com. I highly recommend both of those sites.
During this interim, I joined a studio in late 2013, and my practice sky-rocketed. My teacher was very good. I learned arm-balances, inversions (LOOK GUYS I’M STANDING ON MY HEAD!) and was even doing a handstand, or getting close to doing one, at least. My teacher trained me and a group of other girls so that we could teach. So we started teaching. I had a core group of students, and soon enough I started teaching Yin Yoga as well as Vinyasa.
But then my teacher became disinterested in yoga. The same teacher that helped me take my practice to another level. She stopped frequenting the studio, until she gave up going altogether. Without her energy, the studio soon closed. The movement could not survive without its founder. So I stopped teaching yoga. I even stopped practicing it on my own. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was dissapointed with the whole experience and how things had turned out. It was only recently that I was able to admit this to myself, and I think that this most likely has a-lot to do with the fact that I stopped practicing altogether.
Then in february of 2017, I became pregnant… something I had wanted for a long time. Life became rosy / rose-tinted again, everything was great. But I also suffered from debilitating morning sickness and got so big I rarely felt like working out. In fact, I never worked out. And so my yoga stayed by the wayside, patiently waiting for me to return.
Today, I finally did. And I feel like I’m on fire. I want to practice twice a day, I want to get back to the level I was, I want to teach again. I want to eat healthy, I want to meditate, I want to keep my practice going. I haven’t felt so motivated about something in a long time. And it’s great. It’s like I’ve totally found my passion again.
I’m back to online classes now (and maybe the ocassional studio class with the right teacher, someone who’s truly passionate about yoga just as much as her students are), and it feels right. It feels so right.
I’m back where I belong.
I never really left.