There’s this quote that I love from C.S. Lewis - “It’s funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different.” Major truth, Mr. Lewis. Let's talk about that...following the truth.
A little over a year and a half ago, I was deep in the throes of preparing our studio to open its doors on January 9, 2016. I walked up and down Market Street to every single business that was open one day to talk to them about yoga. Eugene and I put flyers in every shop window that we could. I started writing letters to you. I fretted over every square inch of this space - where to hang that painting, where to put up the mirrors, how clean the baseboards were. I worried if anyone would show up on Opening Day...and then cried when every single class was full.
Looking back, I am in awe of that woman. That woman who wrote a business plan on an airport floor. That woman who had this crazy vision of bringing yoga, the entire practice, to hundreds in this little town. That woman who eventually left a perfectly fine job to pursue teaching and sharing this gift of yoga, a way of living, and a community with no guarantee of “success.” What the heck was she thinking?!
So what was I thinking? I was thinking there was nowhere else to go, but through in order to follow my truth. When we start our asana practice (the physical poses of yoga), so many of us come to our mats for our bodies - to get flexible, to tone our muscles, to find some stress relief, to heal our injuries, to show our friends cool handstand tricks. I was no different - hot, vigorous yoga was my jam. Nothing else would do.
Then, little by little, things started to shift. I started to explore the practice more, changing up the classes I took - slow, gentle, restorative, beginner, advanced. I started reading a ton about yoga. I did trainings. I meditated every morning without fail. I practiced kindness and acceptance of myself, so that I could better send that back out to others. And, then I started having these epiphanies of a yoga practice rooted in truth, Satya.
That’s what our practice brings us closer to. The truth. My truth. Your truth.
The asana isn’t the point. The handstand isn’t the point. Coming to your mat to accomplish anything other than connecting back to the self is not the point. A big piece of this is learning to tune into YOU. What is your truth? Pay attention. What is happening inside you? What do you want? What do you want to do? Where do you want to live? Who do you want to share your gifts with? What do you want to say? What are your values?
Yoga brings us to this point. Yoga gives us the courage to listen to the intuition, to do the scarier thing. And, as we act on our truth, day by day, nothing may seem to change. But, take your time, move intentionally, connect with others to share your truth, and you’ll look back one day to see that everything is different and so, so much better. Yoga gave me the courage to do a scary thing - to open this studio, to build a community, to create a solid prenatal yoga program, to launch two sold out retreats in a year, to start working therapeutically with private clients. It’s given me courage to teach so many from 2 year-olds to 75 year olds. And, for that, I am grateful.
What has yoga given you the courage to do? Have you noticed a shift in perspective since the day you started practicing? Please share. Thinking of you from afar, Yoga Dears. Maybe I'll pop into the studio soon for a visit?