A lot of women and men love yoga, initially at least, for the scene or the weight loss or the calm it provides in the midst of a busy day.
I hate yoga: it’s soooo hard, it kicks my butt, it takes an hour or two out of my already-busy day.
But I keep coming back, if only once a week for a noon-time class, ’cause I love it even more.
1. My mind: my mind tends to get…mindless by the middle of the day, when I typically go to The Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado, and practice with my favorite teacher ever, Billy Goldman (I also love Mary Taylor (who’s been instrumental in supporting me and elephant through the years—we wouldn’t still be here without her support, writing, eco-inspiration), Richard Freeman (who would be my favorite ever only he travels constantly and his classes are super-packed), Alison Litchfield, Jeanie Manchester, all of whom have taught me from time to time over the years since I took my first class in 2002). I grew up in the Buddhist tradition, and we would call yoga, if practiced from this point of view, a meditation in action or moving meditation practice. The great thing about yoga is you can just do it—breathe, move…and it takes care of itself. After 20 minutes at worst I’m present and accounted for, and ready to work better, more efficiently, and more productively and peacefully and happily for the rest of the day.
My body. I work on my computer a lot, and my shoulders, neck and back would probably be costing me thousands of dollars a year in physical therapy, bodywork, god knows what. But thanks to yoga and the proper, subtle alignment the Workshop teaches, I’m fine, thank you (not all studios focus on alignment so much—beware, just ’cause you’re in a yoga studio doing yoga doesn’t mean it’s yoga, or good for you), and ready to keep on working.
My heart: yoga has a powerful way of grabbing my closed up, stressed out self, breaking my solidity and held places down and opening me up to breath and life and feeling young again. I swear to god it keeps us young.