May 17, 2014

We Are All Extraordinary Yogis. ~ Kirsten Warner

Whitney Witthans

Lately I have seen a lot of amazing videos and some pretty incredible pictures of my friends and colleagues’ doing crazy wonderful yoga poses.

Beautiful as they are, I have a confession to make. My heart often aches with the unfortunate realization that for many, this is the only “yoga” that they see.

The truth is, it is a lot harder to capture the day to day, off the mat, real life yoga that most of us do.

Would it not be just as inspiring if a photographer could take a picture of the exhausted new mom using deep breaths to navigate the grocery store as her snot-nosed toddler kicks and screams, and she does the miraculous yoga of not loosing her cool?

Or what if they could capture the image of the women in line next to her, who doesn’t hide her tears and smiles freely at that toddler while she simultaneously grieves the loss of her own?

Where are the sparkling Instagram images of the thirty something woman, lonely but mindful, as she washes dishes, goes to work and waits for love?

I have yet to see a poetic video about staying true to your dharma, even if it means barely paying the bills.

And what kind of mind blowing yoga is it that allows the young mother, who just found out she might have a rare and fatal disease, to not tell her family and calmly wait a week for the results?

Do we show enough respect for the once loving couple that, as devoted as they are to the little guru that hold in their arms, can hardly recognize themselves or each other due to the lack of sleep, and the pressure of trying to be good parents?

Why are we not celebrating the yoga of the hard working single mom, gracefully dealing with her impossibly irresponsible ex?

Or last years college graduate who is still smiling even though she is way too overqualified and underemployed?

Or the grey haired father of four who lost all his money in a bad investment, but never lost his faith?

I cannot imagine a more challenging practice than that of a mother losing a child, or a wife who tenderly holds her beloved’s hand while his physical body wastes away.

The stories are endless and the stories are true.

We are all yogis in the playing field of life.

Lovely pictures or not, the most profound yoga we do usually does not happen when we are standing on our heads.

When you live your life with presence and grace, it no longer matters who is watching.

Love elephant and want to go steady?

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Apprentice Editor: Carrie Marzo / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Whitney Witthans / Pixoto 

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Brita Feb 6, 2015 10:38am

Thank you so much for sharing this, Kirsten! I resonate with the recent college grad piece in particular, it is a daily practice to remind myself that I am not my job, or the piece of paper that suggests I should have better. I am my passions, my desires, and my potential. I may not have the job I dreamed of (yet) but I continue to cultivate the mindset that will allow me to make my dream a reality. Thank you yoga, and in particular, thank you Kirsten for stoking my fire when I needed a push to find my inner strength.

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Kirsten Warner

Kirsten Warner is a dedicated yoga practitioner since 1989. Kirsten has been leading ongoing classes, workshops and retreats for over 16 years. In addition to being the co-founder of Devi Yoga for Women, she runs several yoga and leadership programs including, Yo Mama’s Prenatal Yoga Teacher Trainings and Yoga Loft’s Teacher Training Program in Boulder, Co. As a devoted student, heartfelt teacher and wildly busy mother of two, Kirsten endeavors to live her yoga on and off the mat.