How fitting that my very first blog post would be about yoga. Actually, not going to just write about a physical yoga practice. More than anything these days, I am realizing that yoga is much more of an internal challenge for me than movements with my body. Many ask me how I got into practicing in the first place, and that would be because of my mother, actually. I grew up exposed to yoga at a very young age. Never really knowing what it was exactly, just knew that Lion's Breath was super fun and playful at the age of 7. When I was fourteen I took my first studio class with my mom at a Bikram studio in Bloomfield, Michigan. I swear to you I almost died. I remember being a young teen and self conscious of my body and movements, and I was sweating more than I ever had in my entire life. That was the last time I tried a Bikram class, I know though, that I need to try it again. Maybe ten years later it will be a different experience, ya know? I was a junior in high school when my mom handed me a flyer for a free week of yoga at a local studio down the street. I was a cranky, angsty teen who wasn't into doing anything my parents referred but for whatever reason I grabbed a friend and we went together and took a vinyasa class. Again, hot as hell and had absolutely no idea what the F I was doing- but for some reason, I was instantly hooked. That was 7 years ago and since then my physical and mental practice has evolved into many different stages. Finding my yoga has been a journey within itself. They truly call this a "practice" because the work is never completely done. There is always more to learn, always more to explore and dive deeper into. The mindfulness of the way I move myself through asana (yoga postures) has allowed me to create a stronger foundation of trust and awareness within myself in just this past year. The first couple years of taking classes it was all about how many rounds of vinyasa I could get it, how much I could get myself to sweat in order to lose whatever weight I thought I needed to lose. It was very externally based, which is ok. I needed to go through that to have gotten to where I am now. Although I am very dedicated at practicing at the studio I started with and am now teaching at, I think it is so important to also explore what other yoga studios have to offer. There is so much out there! Somehow I feel like the yoga community of studio owners and teachers are so aggressive and towards one another and I just can't understand why. Are we not all here doing what we love to do? Why is it we feel that one type or style of yoga trumps the other? I enjoy classes with no music, and some days I need a class with music blasting so loud I can't hear my own thoughts. Sometimes I find it extremely helpful to take an alignment based class for my own knowledge and benefit, and sometimes I don't want anyone adjusting or moving my foot in Warrior 2. What I'm saying is that there are different types of yoga for different types of people, that is the most magical thing about it.
My yoga practice is constantly transitioning, changing, morphing. Physical postures I never believed I could do, suddenly happen. I've noticed that breathing deeply is way more important than how many rounds I get in to my vinyasa practice. Most of all, my mat is a place where I can lay out all my shit. Sprinkle all my tension, anger, stress all over and work through it.
Some days it's sweet and easy.
Some days it's like walking through mud.
But I show up, and do my work anyway.