I’m craving yoga right now in a way that I haven’t in years.
It reminds me of my first year of practice and how I’d go to sleep every night giddy with anticipation, knowing I’d get to roll out my mat the moment I woke up.
Every day was like Christmas morning.
That feeling of excitement lasted about a year before routine took over and yoga became part of my normal. I turned my yoga practice into teaching and teaching into a career, and along the way I stopped feeling like I was unwrapping a gift every time I’d begin a practice. Yoga stayed important but it stopped feeling like Christmas. Until now.
I had a baby and, in a way, I get to start from scratch—I get to be a beginner again. I’ve been given the gift of getting to know my body once more. It’s different now, compared to a decade ago. Then, I was 20 pounds lighter and my body was lean and fit and strong without ever having to try. I was all sharp angles and muscle and learning how to invert and balance on my hands. My practice was like my body: firm and determined.
Now—my body is soft. Soft, in the most beautiful way.
It’s like I have an extra layer of insulation now and it’s cushioning me from the roughness of the world; I had a baby and babies need soft things. So my body has adapted. Where there were once edges there are now round hips and thighs and, in my practice, everything is different.
I’m moving from a new place and, even though the feeling is the same, I’m giddy with excitement to get on my mat. I’m getting to know a different body.
This body is a body that’s lived. It’s a body that’s birthed. It’s a body that’s carried the weight of pain and the lightness of joy and everything in between. It’s a body that’s busy nursing a child! It doesn’t care much about balancing upside down anymore because, for the first time, the world is right-side up.
Lea Luna is here and the love she brought has made its way into every inch of who I am.
There is nothing left to prove. So, this body doesn’t need to be strengthened or contorted or fixed or altered anymore—it just needs to move the way it longs to move. It just needs to be.
Today, I bow to the immeasurable beauty of my own skin.
I hope you do the same.
Author: Rachel Brathen
Images: Author’s Own
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren