The past few months, I have had so many people state that getting to a yoga class to tie themselves in knots or balance on their head or split themselves in half (Hanumanasana) or state that they are not flexible so yoga is out of the question. I asked a couple people where they got the idea that that was all yoga?? One replied, "Because that is what I see on FB or in magazines." I thought about her statement for quite a while. I even looked at a few yoga magazines, (not the articles just the photographs) and she was kind of correct . And one other interesting thing they mentioned was that just about all of the photos they had seen have been of young women under the age of 25. Please keep in mind that each one of these yogis has worked hard and had the dedication to get where they are today. I respect and honor that. But I took it upon myself to hopefully set a few minds at ease by sharing my story. I just recently celebrated my 50th birthday. I feel that there are many men and women who are missing out on the benefits of this beautiful practice because they are being somewhat miss informed by social media. Yoga is the mind, body, breath, and spirit. We can do a hard physical practice that includes inversions and balances but we can also do a mind, body, breath, and spirit. practice that is a simple practice and will also benefit all of us.
Let's use my journey as a great example. I am celebrating 38 years of life with Crohns Disease and had my share of struggles. I know what it is like to be the lonely person sitting on the swing. The one who has overcome the simple challenge of getting out of bed in the morning and being able to walk down the stairs on my own. I know what it feels like to be kicked down time and time again. Starting over many times in my life is not a stranger to me. Suffering deeply with depression. The not being good enoughs or the feelings of not being accepted by colleagues. Building physical body strength and mental strength through a practice that I love. To overcoming yet one more surgery and having to rebuild my strength all over again. I am not going to lie.....as we age this rebuilding party doesn't become easier, in fact, it becomes harder and more challenging each time. I have to work harder to overcome side effects from so many different medications. This has left me with a touch of asthma, a (mild) stroke or two. My memory has been affected by those! This doesn't begin to deal with all that goes on when you have an ileostomy pouch, a gift I received Mother's Day 2012.
This beautiful practice has helped so much. All though I continue to work at and through all the ups and downs I am grateful to have this practice to come to. NO!! I do not have to stand on my head to do it nor do I need to wrap my legs around my neck. Yes, I do continue to be very aware of my own body and love all its capabilities while I learn to surrender to all my body's disabilities. Learning to accept the days that holding a pen is work because of the pain in my hands and joints (yet another part of this journey with Crohn's) are so bad. These are the times when my meditation and breath practice come into play. On the days when my own mind becomes my enemy....my practice on the mat, (this thing called yoga) grounds me yet lifts me up so I to can rise and love who I am and share my best self with all I meet. Being perfectly imperfect!!
I found that teaching with all of this in mind allows me to park my sits bones in the seat of the teacher and remain a student.
For those of you who are skeptical, nervous, feel your body won't cooperate please use my journey over the past 38 years as one to help you choose a practice that when honoring your body will open many doors and windows into your own self and allow the beautiful light from within to illuminate.
I would be honored to guide you on the mat and begin sharing what even a simple practice of breath, movement of the body and a gathering of the mind can do for your mind, bod and spirit. Love your body, treat it like a temple it houses a beautiful spirit of love and light.
I hope this helps to ease the your desission making!!