Growth often starts in quantum leaps, and these are precious, often terrifying moments. When that leap presents itself, can you recognize it? Are you willing to take it? – Ana Forrest
It seems like I’ve had the idea that Yoga could offer me some great healing and a great opportunity for growth, for a long, long time. I took my first class over ten years ago and I was terrible at it, but I wanted more. I knew that there was real healing to be found in Yoga if only I could just force myself to find a way to get in a regular practice.
The problem for me is that “regular” is not really part of my vocabulary. There is nothing regular about my life. In fact, it’s so far from regular, that finding a way to incorporate such difficult work on a daily basis is about the hardest thing that I will ever do. (I thought it was quitting smoking, but it turns out, practicing yoga daily is much harder.)
There has never been anything regular about my life. The only things I’ve done everyday are things that are harmful to me; like drinking vodka until I pass out, smoking too many cigarettes, or obsessively checking Facebook for someone new to unintentionally judge. (This is a vice that I’m quickly learning that I must be growing close to tired of, because I complain about it constantly….but I’ll save my feelings on that for another day…) Truthfully, I don’t even pray or meditate everyday, even though I like to think that I do. It’s more like four days a week… sometimes more, sometimes less…usually motivated by the amount pain that I am in. It’s not that I don’t want to do things that are good for me. I really like enlarging my spiritual life by spending time in the morning with God, or getting my ass to the gym after a long day of work, or getting up to do sun salutations BEFORE I even start those long days of work. But, I just can’t seem to find the time. It is a great conundrum; this life of mine. On one hand, I feel like I have too much free time and can’t seem to make good use of it. And yet, on the other hand, I feel like I am too busy. I never seem to have enough time to spend with the people that I love, nor do I feel like I have enough time to DO the things that I love. But in reality, I have more free time than I ever dreamed of having, so where is it all going?
The fact that I am asking myself this question and that I’m aware that there is something very wrong here, is a sign that Yoga is starting to work some magic in my life. This, this is where things begin to get awesome. That “quantum leap of growth” that is mentioned in the above quote. I’m discovering that when I find the time to get myself to the mat, despite how busy and rushed my day may feel, I always seem to find more time to do the other stuff I was convinced I wouldn’t have time to do. The same goes for the mornings that I get up to pray and spend some time with God. AND, if I make time after that, to salute the day with some sun salutations and give my breath a chance to open up my heart, I end up having a pretty amazing day.
Just like Lauryn Hill said, “It could all be so simple, but you’d rather make it hard.” I don’t know how to not fight against the simplicity of my life. How to be okay with the fact that I’d rather spend time alone at home on a Saturday night than go out dancing with people. Or how to pack my bags before I go to bed, instead of in the morning when I’m half asleep. (I forget important things like makeup and underwear that way I end up feeling distressed and messy for days. )Not good. These are real life issues that I’m hoping that Yoga helps bring some ease into. Because I’m doing things now that I never thought I’d be able to do. A week ago, I couldn’t do a Half-Pigeon pose without a block under my hip. I fought that pose with every bit of fighter that I have inside of me, but still found myself requesting it in every class when the teachers asked for special requests. For months now, this pose has brought me to tears, told me that I am broken, not capable, not worthy, and never going to get IT. Today, I found myself lying blissfully on my mat, with breath flowing through me all the way down through my hips to my toes, in an ALMOST perfect half-pigeon. (I’m learning that nothing is ever perfect in Yoga, it’s called practice for a reason.)
I feel like this post is all over the place because I’ve been writing in pieces all day, but oh well. Basically, the important truth is that for a long time, I’ve thought that Yoga was the missing link of my sobriety. But I think that my reasons for getting to the mat initially were all wrong. I thought that once I got some rocking arms and a Yoga tush that all would be well. I didn’t realize that the small victories that one achieves by committing themselves to practice end up being so symbolic of so many other things. This is just from two months of regular practice. It’s crazy good. It’s so amazing to have my body tell me stories that I have never given it the chance to tell me. Can’t wait to see what other secrets and stories she has to tell.