I discovered yoga in February of 2007.
At that point, yoga was like anything else I have never tried: an idea, a concept, something other people did (and something those “other people” did way better than I.) Plus, my thought process was something along the lines of, “I have experience in martial arts, and yoga is just stretching.”
But I make an effort to be open to new things, and I was intrigued. So I went.
I not only went to yoga. I fell in love with yoga. Here was this whole world that existed, that offered so much, that I only just now discovered! I had no idea how tight my body was, how active my mind was, or how much physical strength was involved in yoga. It was most definitely not “just stretching.” I got a workout, I sweat like whoa, my mind calmed and all sorts of muscles I didn’t realize were tense became so much more flexible.
Lest you think it wasn’t love, know that I couldn’t stop talking about it. I literally rallied the troops, convincing three friends to give it a shot with two weeks of discovering it. (Max, Victoria, Sandra, a belated thanks for accommodating my obsession!) In fact, on February 21, 2007, I wrote an email to my Nana and Grampy that contained this:
To balance out my work life, I have taken up yoga, which is amazing. I find it reminiscent of my other Eastern practice of Karate: centering, physically challenging and mentally calming. I am more in touch with my mind and body, and am in better shape than I have been in a very long time. I love it, and can’t stop raving about it to friends and family down here!
We hold so much tension in our bodies, and it’s hard to stop and be present to it. Since you’re reading this, perhaps take a moment and pause. Take a breath in, and then out. Where’s your tension? (Mine’s still in my hips, apparently no matter how many times I do half-pigeon.)
But, again, yoga is more than just stretching. Yoga is being mindful of my breath. It is me aligning my mind with my body. It is accepting what I can and cannot do.
Above all, it is me returning to my own heart center, and realizing everything that I am.
If you haven’t, try it. If you have, namaste.