I’m hanging out in my yoga room this morning.
I’ve already decided that if I ever open up a studio of my own, I’m calling it simply The Yoga Room—something cozy and inviting.
This space is mine. My beautiful white and purple orchid, a gift from my husband, sits on the window ledge (along with my toddler’s toys for when she’s in here playing too). My heater, for chillier weather, sits in the corner; asking me to turn it on and hit my mat.
Today my daughter’s lovely sitter is here to play with her so that I could spend some much needed quality time in this space of “me” that I’ve set up in my home, in order for me to can reconnect with the “me” that I feel I’ve lost touched with this past week (or this past lifetime, depending on how you want to look at it).
Outside these windows, I see gorgeous, old trees, and the birds that have decided to call their branches “home sweet home.” I also see the brilliant sun shining so brightly that it creates a glistening, yet slightly annoying, glare on my computer screen. Oh, how I’ve missed the sun.
This winter has seemed especially long. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore winter weather; actually missing these frigid Ohio days thoroughly when we lived in New Mexico. Still, I found myself realizing that my latest funks are likely caused by my desperation to get outside and play around in less clothing; letting the sun kiss my needy skin.
So today, as I fooled around in my beloved yoga room—practicing my favorite asanas, blasting my favorite tunes, and listening to the sounds of my daughter and her friend play during the pauses of silence—I become aware of how sincerely my yoga practice and this sunshine, together, wash my soul clean.
I think back to all the layers I’ve added to my onion—the onion of my self that creates space, sometimes healthy but usually not, between me and the world that I inhabit.
In years passed, my eating disorder was a way to create more layers; more room around my soul that was supposed to cushion me from pain, but rather created it instead.
Similarly, baggy attire during my adolescence also created additional layers—literally and figuratively—and simultaneously created more detachment from who I really am on the deeper spirit level.
Lately, I’ve felt discouraged by the sad, gloomy writer cliche. Yet, at the same time, I’ve often written some of my own emotionally poignant stories from places of pain and withdrawal. However, as someone who believes in living mentally, physically and spiritually in the light, these shadowed creations become not only sorry cliches, but grating chalkboard revelations as I see other such sad pieces sell and magnetize readership.
Instead, I’m here to share what I feel, at least, is another soulful piece, but this one’s written from my place of delightfully bright illumination that comes from these aftereffects of a heart-warming physical yoga practice, coupled with my sunny window that invites my layers to melt, drip away and be lost—and all that’s left is me.
The “me” that sometimes hurts to share with others; the “me” that often feels alone and afraid; and, most specially, the “me” that I really want to share with my world despite these emotional hindrances.
So on this day, whether or not the sun shines brightly as you read this or, rather, the moon glows quietly behind the clouds instead, remember that your soul is its own light—a light that desperately wants to shine as deliciously as the sunshine out my clear yoga room window.
If, like me, you continually pile on these deceptively protective coverings and then have difficulty shedding them–even once you’ve realized the disease they ultimately breed—then take a page from this story, and practice your yoga in the sun. Let this easy simplicity of your practice remind you that when you put too much emphasis on the importance of understanding these layers themselves, that you are, in fact, giving them a power that is undeserved.
You deserve to remember that you have that glowing power already inside of you.
We are all special, we are all stars, and we are all shining luminously—even on those “off” days when we, too, are hidden behind clouds of our own making.
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta