I thought back to what got me out of my head and into my body and this is what I decided to try. It is a way to warm up the body and warm up the mind. It is a way to begin your practice without overthinking everything like what fancy transitions and flowy gracefulness to incorporate. You match your inhales and exhales to each pose in the sequence, you end, then begin again, and continue.
Little did I know I would be where I am now, doing what I am doing, living a drastically different life, but feeling the same heaviness forcing me to slow down and to confront the ugly that is so necessary to grow. Growth is a process. It is ten feet by ten feet. It is a path with changing elevations and no definitive destination. But if given the choice, I would choose the crazy path over being stagnant every single time.
I finally made it to the first rest hut and knew I had to go back. I really had no other choice as the tree stumps were turning into animals in my mind. (Yes, I was hallucinating.) I did see three, REAL golden monkeys, a few mountain buffalo and 2 really big earth worms.
I am not saying there isn’t big magic in the small things because there is, have you ever played high fives in the middle of a village with a small child and giggled for 2 hours straight? That is magic. But when it comes to where we find our calling, our purpose, our why why why… our comfort zone may not be the best place to live.
This isn’t technically yoga, but it is life. It is reality. And we practice yoga to help us get through life. The good, the bad, the really, really ugly. It is there to be our constant, our comfort. It teaches us to reflect, to gain perspective, to take the small wins and turn them into big ones.
An hour and one physically challenging class later, I felt like a little part of me returned that I didn’t even know was missing. The class was so different, yet very much the same. We did the poses we are all familiar with only they were instructed so differently, there was SO much laughter, and there was a sense of freedom to come and go from the class as you please. Simply, just to come as you are because you made it to your mat whether it was for 5 minutes for 60. Isn’t that what yoga truly is about?
Goodbye is not a dirty word. It is O.K., it is healthy, it is how you grow. We live in a world where the urge to stay connected forever and always is constantly looming over us. Our phones, the internet, apps, airplanes, maybe one day teleportation, make it easier than ever to hold onto things that no longer serve us. Saying goodbye is a practice, just like yoga, just like everything else.
When it came to choosing props for Inhale, I pulled out all the stops in the hopes that one day someone like me might fall in love with a prop one day. All it takes is one to blow your mind. I chose solid blocks, long and soft straps, a rainbow of blankets, and colorfully patterned bolsters. You will even find baskets of balls. Sandbags is next on the list. Because at one point or another each of these extras has enhanced my practice.
Yoga was my constant. My comfort. My home. No matter what storms were raging in my life, I always had my yoga mat. I always had that safe space. I created it for myself, and it was wonderful. Unfortunately, I took my safe space for granted. I abandoned my home.
When Maria practices yoga, she can restore both a sense of confidence and calm by choosing empowering yoga poses that help her focus on one thing at a time. When she does this, she can tell that voice that says “Are you sure???” to be quiet and just watch her rock her world.