Living one's yoga is a labor of love. I won't mislead you. Showing up is often the hardest part, and just like a little kid, I have been known to throw a mini tantrum on the way to the mat. But once I hit that magic carpet, everything changes. I’m not saying that it is always grand or convenient, and I can’t say I always feel strong or balanced or inspired.
What I can say, however, is that I have never (I repeat: NEVER) had a practice where I don't move through the muck and into freedom: an ultimate sense of expansion... a sense that the "real" yoga has finally arrived… It always happens.
With one caveat:
I gotta show up.
If I show up, Yoga shows up.
How is it for you? When you practice, are you there? I mean….really THERE? Or do you sometimes find yourself chasing “yoga” — looking for balance, integration, oneness with the “all that is” in the flow, in the yogi-style-pushup, the inversion.
And how do you really KNOW if you’ve found it?… how do you feel it? Do you tremble? Feel fuzzy? Get all blissy and sweet-faced? Or do you head straight on out into space? Blown out into that free and open place? If you’ve experienced any of the above, you know yoga with the “big” Y. And if you haven’t experienced any of the above — I’ve got good news for you: You will. if you keep showing up, Yoga will find you. It’s her JOB.
So, what’s the big deal, anyway?
Why does any of this matter?
Because the practice, and the results of the practice offer you three beautiful outcomes — never fail.
1. At some point along the journey, you will acknowledge, recognize and grow intimate with something way bigger than you have ever imagined
2. You will learn how to recognize truth, attract goodness, and find your way home to your heart — and ALL of this makes life, love, and even the dishes, shoe tying, and changing the oil quite delicious
3. What matters to you most will be nurtured, and what plagues you today simply won’t matter anymore
You see, yoga on the mat is cool and all, but it is just itsy bitsy in comparison to what it can translate into in your life. If you are at all like me — which I reckon you are since we are all the same beneath the hubbub of life’s details — then you know what it feels like to want it all, wake up tired sometimes, struggle some days and absolutely nail it other times. You know what it feels like to go to bed at night and feel completely whole or instead to feel a wash of “meh” about your day.
What I know is that mat yoga is a tiny little portal into the magic kingdom — where everything in life is whole, holy and worthy of your time and attention, where the greatest offering you can give this life is not to get more stuff done or to check more things off your list, but instead to soften into your heart and cultivate a sacred, simple sweetness. You state of being is the greatest contribution you can offer up — way beyond any cool new things you do at work, or parties you throw, or goals you knock out of the park.
There’s a little sanskrit saying that guides my day and maybe it will touch yours too: its English translation goes like this:
“As you worship, so you become”
To that which you dedicate your time, or whatever it is you think about, dream about, and long for? THAT, is what you are “worshipping”. And, Baby, THAT is exactly what you are you getting. So I suggest you choose wisely and be super duper clear about what is that is riding on every single, sacred, simple breath.
Your life depends upon it.