I have been meeting a friend at our yoga studio once a week, and it has turned into a ritual. I look forward to that day, one I know always brings laughter and inspiration.
As I opened up to her at the end of the class and complained that, often, my evening practice was the first moment of the day I felt alive and breathing, her answer left me speechless: “Yes, but do you realize we have yoga ? Some people don’t have anything, and never get to feel this way.”
I reflected a lot on her comment the following week, and felt slightly ashamed that I had ungratefully taken the gift of yoga in my life for granted. “The gift of yoga”- a common phrase we use, while often forgetting its precious meaning, and how accurately it describes a yogi’s experience.
It is a fact that my late afternoon practice, some days, is the only moment I truly connect to my breath and am able to quiet my ever shattering mind. Yet, there it is, this safe place, at my fingertips through ups and downs. When I start getting frustrated during professional meetings, I get to resort to pranayama, and reclaim peace of mind and a clear, cool and collected thought process. When I am enjoying some free time in the morning, I have the option to start and elevate my day with chanting and mantras. Whenever I need inspiration or support, I can dive into the countless mythical tales of our cherished Indian gods and godesses, and read or listen to inspiring teachers and mentors.
Our yoga practice is so much more than the asanas. It is a collection of tools that supports and helps us in the journey of this life and consistently allows us to thrive as human beings in a way that could never have been achieved without the insight yoga offers.
More than ever, I am immensely grateful for the gift of yoga.