February 22, 2012

Lessons Learned in Yoga. ~ Jacki Carr

I love it when actions, moments or practices can truly provide a story for your entire life, and act as beautiful metaphors.

As the lights dimmed this evening in the humid room of Santa Monica Power Yoga, I lay absolutely drenched on my yoga mat after the hour and a half power flow and deep holds, and noticed a few life lessons and reminders from my yoga practice.

They seemed to be great messages around stress layers, breathing and gratitude. One that hit home today was the subtle reminder, be it from a lack of smooth breath, a twitch in the knee, or perhaps a grind of the teeth throughout the flow…“Do not force it, just do not.”

These were the words of wisdom from my brain (or figuratively, my heart) to my sweating body.

I have been truly feeling my yoga practice lately, and by feeling, I mean sipping it in to the heart space. I have recognized my love for Child’s Pose, my disregard for that extra vinyasa and letting it flow back to my dear ol’ friend, Downdog, my ability to breathe into deeper movement, and my attention to detail and form that takes me to another level. It is a more committed practice than I have ever known. One that is choice-based. One that is opening, strong and peaceful.

I take a step off the mat tonight and realize the correlation of my practice with my life—my ability to love myself right here and right now, the self-awareness that exists, the nurturing forgiveness and patience I am continuing to work on as well as the full deep breath that is more readily available in everyday life on and off the mat. I am more aligned and in tune with my very own body than ever before and seem to have realized a true enjoyment of time. I feel strong and peaceful. It feels delicious.

And in light of the realization, I turn the life pages back a few chapters and recall my time on the mat just a few years ago; it was rigid, forceful, sporadic and non-committal. There was a stench of ego that would not allow me to Child’s Pose and make me remain a competitor in yoga…I know, it is an oxymoron. All of them are, really. And I see how my life at that point was led that way—forceful, battling to the death with the ego, pushing and pushing (to excel, to be right, to win) and where was the breath—was I choking?  Choking on my own life? I was unaware, a bit lost and going through the motions of work, sweat, sleep and repeat. I feel tired thinking about it now.

Quite amazing how life shows up in so many places to show you the way, bring you back home, bring you to peace, and bring you to joy.

Take a deeper dive into your forward fold, a deeper breath on your morning run, or any life moment, really.

Maybe you will see…


Assistant Editor: Soumyajeet Chattaraj

Jacki Carr is a yogi, runner, goal coach, writer, ‘possibilitarian’, adventure-seeker and life lover. Seen ‘scootering’ through the streets of Venice, CA and living a hipster life by the ocean, she has big goals to own a rad log cabin in Colorado with solar panels and a Burmese Mountain Dog named Moose. When not playing on the Lululemon Athletica playground that is her career, Jacki is sharing adventures on her blog about kayaking, gnarly life lessons on and off the mat, yoga on Sunday mornings and perfect Saturday day dates. An ultimate goal is to inspire her loved ones and all beings to be balanced, present and to live their most passionate ‘live-your-wildest-dreams-light-it-up’ life. We really only have one—so why not make it an adventure? Follow her on twitter here: @jackicarr. Read her adventure blog here.

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