I came to yoga years ago, the same way a lot of others do. I was drawn to the physical practice. I would sweat, stretch and twist. Then, when 90 minutes was up, it was as if I was rolling the experience up right along with my mat, to be tucked away until the next time I came to class. Or so I thought.
I had been practicing a few months when ‘magic’ began happening.
I started the shower and began brushing my teeth at the same time. Very quietly a voice inside me gently nudged me to turn off the shower until I was ready. Not much of a revelation but suddenly I was conscious of an instilled habit. Could this be the beginning of mindfulness? We all have to start somewhere.
I walked into my beloved Starbucks at the same time as someone else. Instead of feeling competitive to get to the counter first, I let him go in front of me. Rest assured my day was not negatively affected by getting my latte one minute later than I would have. Maybe this was the first inkling of patience?
I already felt more centered, connected and capable of dealing with the chaos life sometimes throws our way. I had awareness and the ability to come back to the present moment, any and every time.
I’m a pretty laid back lady, but on occasion I have been known to get slightly… passionate, during heated arguments with loved ones. But I soon began noticing that I was more so listening to myself more. I now know what bothered me in these situations, why I react the way I sometimes do and I learned not to judge myself with the fierceness that I’m so prone to do. Kindness was at play in my own heart.
We often assume that what we will get from yoga is toned arms, stretchy hamstrings and the ability to stand on our heads. But the practice is so much greater than the physical. I did not set out with the intention of becoming more mindful, patient, aware or kind. But yoga found a way to give me these tools and so many more. As my practice has evolved so have the side effects and I couldn’t be more grateful.
All of these things were already instilled in myself well before I began my relationship with the mat, but I’ve noticed that as my practice grows, all of these qualities I take great pride in seem to have shined a little brighter.
Peace, love & sarcasm,