I often think about the many ways in which the practice of yoga has transformed my life over the past ten years. I love moving with the flow of my breath. I savor the process of getting still. I love the philosophy, the discipline, the artistry. And while I love the asana practice for all of these things and more, perhaps the most significant and meaningful thing the practice offers me is the indescribable feeling of coming home: home to myself and home in my heart.
The truth is, it’s easy to get lost in the “mind-stuff”– attempting to navigate and work through anxiety, fear, doubt and even shame. It’s no easy task to be fully awake and present, nor is it simple to live our lives in alignment with our personal truth. It is far easier to stay lost, to stay asleep and to go through the motions without intention. Yet, this wholehearted path has never promised to be easy; to live wholeheartedly is to see that even when we forget who we are and lose sight of where we are going, we stay committed to the process of remembering. We let our practice be a mirror into our soul and we remind ourselves that this path takes unwavering commitment and immeasurable courage. It requires more constant bravery than anything I know does. It takes letting ourselves get lost while honoring a deep knowing that we will be found–over and over again, along the waves of our breath and through the process of flowing our way into stillness.
When I find myself lost in the chaos of my mind, I look to my practice as the compass that can show me the way back to my heart. My practice reflects back to me who I am every time I forget. It encourages me to look inwards (with curiosity and compassion) towards my own clarity, confidence and contentment.
For today, and every day ahead, I bow in gratitude to all that I continue to discover about myself through the practice of yoga. I bow to the breakdowns and breakthroughs and to the ebbs and the flows of what it means to be human. I bow to the breath and to the ways in which it helps to clear my own internal fogging and steers me back on track anytime I feel lost. And of course, I bow to you– students, teachers, and friends who are walking this path, practicing presence– being willing to get lost and ready to be found– moment to moment, breath by breath.
Photo credit: Mark Kuroda, Kuroda Studios.