Somewhere inside of me is a woman who can bend herself into a pretzel, smile serenely whenever she’s aggravated, and is lean and strong and centered. She is my yogi and it’s my life’s work to find her again.
I love yoga. I have loved and practiced it for years but, during the really bad drinking years, I abandoned it and my daily meditation practice. I think it was because I didn’t want to go too deeply into myself for fear of what I’d find. I told everyone that it was because I didn’t have time, I was too busy or tired or….whatever. But the truth was that, for me, yoga and meditation take me deep into myself and I just did not want to go there. Did not.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t make quite a few feeble attempts to get back into it. In our last house I even built myself a yoga room in an unused dining room. It was beautiful and I did some yoga and meditation in it once in awhile but I never made any real commitment to it. I just showed it off like I was some kind of guru and kept hoping that one day I magically would become that guru. I was searching for enlightenment…so long as it didn’t get in the way of happy hour.
I wish there was a space in our house now that I could do that. I think this time I would really use it as “my space” in which I could practice and meditate. Because now that I’m sober and feeling more like who I want to be when I grow up, I’m getting back into a regular practice of yoga and meditation. It feels right. Not great because I’m tight and my extra weight gets in the way of doing the poses the way I used to, but it definitely feels like…well…home.
I don’t approach yoga the way some of the studios do now. It’s not a competition for me. I don’t need to sweat, burn calories, be hot or do anything “power”. Sometimes I just need to connect with my breath and let the breath guide my practice and sometimes I’m in more of a yin state of mind and I need to hold the poses longer and just de-stress. That’s why I mostly practice at home with DVD’s or apps on my phone. Studios tend to be expensive and because they are businesses, they cater to the latest trend or movement. Even the teachers get frustrated because it doesn’t honor the real practice. But that’s not for me to judge, I just do what’s right for me. (AND I’ve been known to be a little competitive so when I look around and see someone in a pose deeper than I am…well…I also do not honor the practice.)
And the deeper I get back into my practice, the better my meditation becomes. I have a very hard time with meditation. I can’t shut my mind down and then when I can’t, I chastise myself for it. Ugh! But it’s something that takes practice and you really do get better the more you do it so I keep on doing it. I used to be so good that I once saw what I perceived to be the face of God. I have to admit…it scared the shit out of me and I didn’t meditate for a long time after that. I’ve been trying to get back to that place ever since…without the best results. But I’ll keep trying and if I’m blessed to have it happen again…I’m hoping I behave more like a grown up.
So there really wasn’t any point to this post except to say:
I love yoga.
It’s as close as I’m ever going to get to an organized religion.
I’m not trendy.
There’s a reason they call it “practice”.
It’s helps me be kind to myself.
“You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state.”