Yoga has taught me to nourish the longest relationship that I will ever have – my relationship with myself.
I began to explore yoga asanas (postures) in 2008 when I moved to Saskatchewan. Although I had always been interested in it and felt that ‘doing yoga’ would be good for me, I had never committed to a practice or taken many classes. I didn’t feel comfortable or connected to my body AND I really felt that yoga was for people who could already do the poses, who were flexible and fit, and who liked wearing stretchy pants – not me!
But, with no furniture in my new hardwood floor apartment, a bitter winter, and a yoga video, I decided to give it a go.
No one needed to know. And it felt good. It felt right.
I began the process of moving my body, getting to know it, and eventually befriending my body (a continual deepening relationship). As I gained a bit of confidence with some basic poses, I decided to check out some yoga studios. I found my favourite teachers and kept at it. In certain poses, I still hear their voices reminding me, encouraging me, challenging me.
For me, yoga (the physical practice and the philosophy of living) is a way to come back to my body in a gentle, slow way. And as this trust-respect-befriend process continues, I am more and more able to enjoy movement, to play, to learn about my strengths, to challenge myself a little. And yes, my yoga practice ease my joint pain, strengthens my body, and helps me breathe!
My practice brings to light hidden parts of myself – both positive and shadow. My practice is an opportunity to work things out – emotions, kinks in my body, experiences, sensations. It helps me come to deeper understanding of myself, my patterns, let go/integrate traumas, and simply be.
When I became sick with a life-threatening illness, it was my yoga practice that was one of the cornerstones of my recovery process and guides me as I now navigate the ways of being in the world as a person with a disability.
So, I am committed to this practice that helps me learn how to take care of myself.
Because I know what it is like to live in spaces disconnected from the present, disconnected from body-mind, ashamed and afraid, sometimes frozen, sometimes frenetic.
And I also know that these things are workable.
I know that it is possible to live in spaces full of light, connection, integration, and joy – a lot of the time. Yoga is a path of loving-kindness, self-compassion, awareness. I wax poetic, it’s true.
This is the heart of the matter: yoga wakes us up – in body, mind, soul, and spirit.
I took my yoga teacher training to deepen my own practice. I took it when I was so sick that I could hardly breathe; I couldn’t do all of the poses; I needed to rest a lot (I still do). I desperately wanted to learn some tools to help myself and others with our chronic conditions, trauma, and emotional suffering. I just wanted to be well.
With this decision, I began to intentionally cultivate and uncover one of my soul’s deepest desires – to co-create a sacred space for healing, rest, and relaxation where we can wake up together, again and again, bathing in the light of our true nature. I try to never lose sight of how awkward and unattainable this practice seemed at first (and still does sometimes).
Yoga is for every body. Let’s meet each other where we are at ….no flexibility, level of fitness, previous knowledge/experience or even stretchy pants needed (they are comfy though!).
And with gratitude, I continually commit to this practice that teaches me to shines my light into every area of my life.
thanks for stopping by,
2 thoughts on “this love”
Beautifully written, thank you for sharing, Jessica!