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January 28, 2014

How to Begin Again. ~ Ilka Omdahl

I love yoga for many reasons, but mostly because I get to practice poses again and again.

Sometimes, I’m graceful. Sometimes, I flail. Advanced postures elude me, but regardless, I show up and try anyway. I do what Judith Hanson Lasater suggests and “move into the direction of the pose.” The art is the practice itself or so I believe. The art is in the showing up even when it’s hard. Even when I don’t want to and the traffic is working against me and my couch is so…comfy and that glass of wine so…inviting.

I’ve come to realize recently, yoga is the ultimate do-over.

More often than not, we don’t get do-overs in our conversations with our loved ones or those that have a knack for pushing buttons. We don’t get to fine tune or finesse all the things we wish we had said or done, or more often than not, what we wish we hadn’t. But in yoga, in the asanas, we have limitless do-overs.

Every time we come to our mat, we have an opportunity to begin again in every pose we’ve ever practiced.

Months ago, a relationship I was excited about ended. I am certain my individual insecurities contributed to its demise. Countless times, I have wished I could have a do-over there with him. I wish that I could have traded the need for knowing where it was going, with the surprise unfolding of something new. I wish I could have traded my need to be heard, with the need to hear where he was coming from. I wish I could have traded my need to be right, with the desire to be happy. I can’t help wonder where could I have landed with a little more grace, forgiveness, latitude and trust in the moment.

I’m doing my best to be kinder to myself. To realize that I might not get the chance to do it over with him, but this incarnation will certainly provide many chances, many opportunities to practice restraint, softness and little more patience toward myself and others.

Each time I step on my mat, I get another chance to practice what is hard and beautiful so I can become a more refined human being off the mat. I get to stumble and sweat and swerve and even shine. I get to swear (on the inside, if it’s a good day) and begin again.

Begin again.

Today, I’m grateful I have the chance to continue to practice all that I need to—on and off the mat.

 

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Assistant Editor: Holly Horne/Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: The Random Hiccup, Flickr

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Ilka Omdahl