My soul was lacking.
I have been doing yoga for years and I try to get on my mat nearly every day. I won’t lie to you. I have been feeling pretty damn proud of myself for finally sticking to something and following through. There was, however, something that just wouldn’t let me settle into that pink, fluffy feeling of satisfaction.
I knew something was missing.
On a particularly beautiful morning, I decided to take my practice outside to the garden. The warmth of the sun on my skin, the way the light dappled through the leaves, the glimmer of the pond and birds rustling in the shrubs moved me. I was feeling especially open and in tune with my surroundings, and then I realized that it was this, which was missing from my practice: being moved, letting myself feel freely, allowing myself to be touched by beauty.
Aha! So It was me—I was what was missing.
I had been going through the motions, but not the emotions. Don’t misunderstand—I was definitely not bored. No, not at all. In fact, learning to do asana (yoga pose) the right way, was challenging and motivating.
I was fully engrossed in what I was doing—on a physical level. The fine details of each asana—alignment, focus point, where I need to bend and where I need to lengthen were all encompassing, but I got stuck and forgot the whole point of yoga.
Again, I’ve got to be honest; I felt proud of being able to do stuff I couldn’t do before. It was nice to know that my asanas looked good from the outsid—but the point of yoga is definitely not to put on a performance of beautiful movements and poses.
It should feel good on the inside, too.
So I decided I was going to go beyond the physical delivery of my asana practice and discover what each pose is stirring in me. I wanted to check out what part of my body awakens in tree and in turn what feelings that body part is connected to.
Magnificently, this was a conscious choice I just had to make. It was really a matter of shifting focus and allowing space for discovery.
It was about letting go of control and staying open to myself and about what might happen if I did that.
I won’t tell you that it wasn’t challenging to say: I do not have to be calm, cool and collected. I do not have to hold myself together.
It is OK to cry and feel broken—it’s alright to be you.
As I moved from warrior I, stepping back into downward dog and resting in child’s pose, I felt connected to my breath, and through my breath connected to everything else. A rush of emotions flooded me and I felt grateful and blissful. I guess it was my reward for moving beyond my fears and staying curious.
My forehead rested on the ground and the sweet smell of late summer filled my senses.
I arrived to a place in myself that is home.
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Assistant Ed.: Tawny Sanabria/Ed.: Bryonie Wise