Today a friend of mine and I were discussing how yoga has been instrumental in offering clarity to our everyday lives. We talked about how people seek and find different things from yoga and that everyone takes away something different from their practice. Some come to yoga to manage pain, deal with stress, some come to cultivate flexibility, balance, and strength. Whatever brings you to your mat, there is no "right" reason to practice yoga. The call to the practice is just as personal as the practice itself.
Over the years my practice has changed, not in some linear way, more of an ebb and flow like the ocean tides. At times it was driven by vanity or my desire to be thinner, stronger, better than the person next to me. At times, my asana practice was nonexistent as I made excuses as to why my mat was collecting dust even though my body and mind begged me to move and breathe in harmony. Through my 13 year relationship with yoga one thing has remained constant in my practice, AWARENESS. Even though I may not like to admit that in my younger 20s my practice was about body image and in my mid 20s it was about showing off on my mat, yoga has allowed me to be AWARE of all that. I am able to admit these not so flattering personality flaws because yoga has shown me to embrace the good and the bad, the light and the dark. These qualities are what make me who I am, a flawed human being.
At this point in my life, my practice is deeply personal. As my friend said today "it's like religion," and for me that resonated. My body, the temple, my practice, the prayer. I think every single yogi can understand that. No, yoga is not a religion but it requires faith, discipline, and love, like religion. As an instructor I know now that my path isn't to share my practice with you, yet to help lead you to your own. I aspire to create a warm, nonjudgmental, safe space for you to cultivate your inner and outer awareness.