On my venture to realign with my values, motivation, and hope, I’ve been searching for and holding tightly to the pieces of my life- the memories, the activities, the people- who remind me of the connected self that lies beneath the surface, emerging slowly and sporadically throughout this journey. In this, I’ve consistently come back to yoga. It hasn’t quite been the movement, itself, but rather the stillness I’ve been able to find at times in my practice. It’s the break from the noise that I know I can find on my mat that I’m working towards, and when that’s taken away by the actions in which I choose to engage in disconnection, it’s a reminder of the losses that do not serve me.
With this recognition, I was asked to distinguish what it is about yoga, what it means to me, and what it feels like. I narrowed it down to this…
So much of my life I’ve wanted to be someone else. I’ve fantasized about having different circumstances, a different mind, a different body, a different temperament, or a different life. I’ve wanted to and often still want to crawl out of my skin and go on a search for one that will allow me to feel different- more right.
With time, in yoga, I’ve, for the first time, felt at home in my body. I’ve felt an alignment between my soul and the vehicle I have for this lifetime. The struggle has dimmed and sometimes diminished with the movement and breath in my practice. I’ve found congruence, purpose, and acceptance.
The focus and teachings have guided me into a meditative state; my thoughts have slowed and quieted and I’ve been able to discover a respect for my being- an awareness of the benefits and progress of this respect, and an understanding for the journey of my relationships between my selves on this planet.
The pride and striving one holds and keeps engrained in the movement of yoga has allowed me a space to achieve unachievement and meet myself in my truth and current state. My focus on where I am gives me a chance to notice any conflicting invasions from my ego on where I should be. I have a peace which lets me detach from those thoughts and free myself from any resulting restraints. I am already all I need to be and my strength and ability for survival can be guided and nurtured within, where they exist. I see myself aside from my world. I see my world as a place to hold me, but not define me. I get to be who I am for however long I have the opportunity to be and to do my best and enjoy. I am at peace.
It is the closest thing I have found to an entirely unattached freedom and purpose, and it has come as a result of simple words, a mat, and an accepting community. The practice of intentional self-exploration, respect and unfolding in yoga can only be learned and uncovered in a spiritual surrender. Just as others have offered me this invitation for a safe place to be set free, even momentarily, from the struggles that find me in pain, I aspire to learn and expand my experience to those open and seeking their own space to meet themselves in the state of their nature. It feels like hope.