As a yoga teacher and active member of my local and global yogic communities, I am always seeking to deepen my knowledge. This has lead me to some profound experiences, but it has also lead me to discover a branded yoga, a sexualized yoga, a fashionable yoga, and a yoga for “losing those stubborn 10 lbs. FAST!.”
This is not the yoga that I know. My yoga can’t be ‘selfied.’ It is not owned by a corporation. It is not better-than or worse-than. The yoga I know is me, at home in my body, in this moment. My yoga is inclusive, welcoming, and liberating, enabling me to live fully and love deeply. To be as grounded in the ebb as I am in the flow.
My practice does not always mirror back to me the lovely and blissful. It can reflect back to me what is tortuous, unrelenting, ugly and uncomfortable within me. Sometimes, it is easier to keep busy rather than be accountable to the steady beat of my own heart.
In times like these, I take myself deep into nature. There, in pre-dawn blackness so deep it swallows and fills me all at once, I can be silent enough to hear her softly calling to me. Alone, I cannot hear any voice telling me that my body isn’t right, doesn’t fit or isn’t beautiful. I cannot see with my physical eyes; I can only feel with the eyes of my heart.
There, I remember and am overwhelmed with love and gratitude for my body, because this body brings my yoga to me. My body is a full-fledged bootylicious miracle! This is the body that my parents created just for me. These chubby legs ran after my brothers, thighs rubbing against each other with every stride. This is the abundant body that my fiancée fell in love with. The round face that my community resonates with. The flabby arms that will embrace my children. Each time I come to my mat and move this body, I am reminded of just how grateful I am to have my body.
Everyone’s yoga is waiting for them, even for those who will never step foot on a yoga mat in their entire lives. Your yoga is in the home of you. Your life is your yoga if you can be quiet enough to listen.