My yoga practice reminds me to play and laugh and not take life so seriously.
I found yoga by accident. In February 2010 YYoga and Lululemon were offering free yoga during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and having done little exercise since having kids six years earlier, I thought it was worth a try. It was free, a 10 minute walk from my house, and I wanted to get back in shape.
Little did I know it would change my life. It took me years to discover what kept me coming back to my mat day after day, month after month, all I knew was that I needed it. I felt energized after class. I began to feel stronger, I had better balance, and I felt lighter. Eventually I understood that yoga is moving meditation. I’d heard that yoga is moving meditation, but those words didn’t make sense to me until I learned what meditation is. It was the meditative piece of yoga that kept me coming back to my mat, the meditative piece that differentiated yoga from almost every other form of exercise I’d ever participated in. Yoga calmed and centered me and when I was on my mat and it enabled me to let go of thoughts that kept spinning around in my head. That is what I love about yoga.
I have a son with a progressive and rare disease. Living as a mom to a child with a progressive disease can be heavy. Really heavy. I am close friends with many parents whose children have, are about to, or will very possibly die before they do. I face the impermanence of life regularly and it is not easy.
Yoga has helped me process and move through some really hard times. I have gone to class and cried from tadasana to savasana. I often go to class with breathing as my only goal. Even when my mind is coursing with ‘typical’ life thoughts: I have to go to the bank, book our flights, go grocery shopping, figure out who can pick up Sadie, Oh! Don’t forget butter!?, through yoga I have learned to recognize when my mind is jumping around or pulling me here and there. Getting on my mat helps me slow it down and clear it out.
When my mind is clear, I also go to my mat to play. Playing is fun!! I’d forgotten just how much fun. I’m not sure about you, but I feel like adulthood can be or is expected to be pretty serious. We feel pressure to get ‘good’ jobs, buy a house, have kids, raise our kids well (or save their lives), save for retirement, and the list goes on. I come to my mat to let go of all that and feel free. I’m still a work in progress, but I’ve found that the really cool part about yoga is that although all of this letting for me go began on the mat, it has filtered into the rest of my life. Yoga has led my whole life to slow down and brighten up. Yoga has transformed my life and is nothing short of awesome.