Another fucking yoga thinkpiece

My thoughts on yoga, how I feel about the practice and my experience of practicing yoga don’t quite match up. I often get angry, confused and threaten to quite teaching. But somehow I always end up back on the mat wearing tight pants and reminding folks to breathe. Life is weird.

When I think about yoga I get angry. I think about yoga as a colonized practice that is far away from it’s root. As an American I feel embarrassed because I participate in perpetuating the experience as yoga as something that is potentially less than a direct hotline to God. I could get into the latest brouhaha about whose teacher was caught fucking whom, why xyz, should not be taught in public classes and how white yoga is– but let’s not 🙂 These observations and the way they arise are more a sign of what’s going on in our culture, than an indication of yoga itself. Yoga is much more that what I capable of perceiving. I am slowly learning that.

When I teach and practice I often feel a bit of guilt and sadness, because I wish that I knew more. However the knowledge and experience that I seek is intangible. It’s more than the experience or feeling of a balanced, well rounded practice. It’s more than having a capable or authentic teacher. The thing that I most seek I imagine isn’t Stateside. Sadly, I am not going to India to time travel. Maybe next life time 🙂  Even though, I often feel something is off in the way I work, I am not quite sure how to remedy it. No amount of study or practice I’ve done makes me feel better. My moments of clarity in regards to yoga come when I yield to something larger than myself; which connects to my personal practice.

Yoga found me when I was a graduate student in Bournemouth, England. I don’t use my graduate degree–at all. But since that first class many many years ago, I’ve never stopped practicing yoga. When I practice, I feel God. I feel loved. I feel cared for. I feel seen. I feel known. I feel forgiven, empowered and uplifted. When I step on the mat, to practice or teach I feel a larger, infinitely wiser and more loving hand guiding what and how I do. In this moment, whatever I am going through fades into the background. It’s just me and my breath. All I need to do is make it to the next breath. All is well. Whenever and however I practice or teach my needs in the moment are met. Somehow, despite whatever brings me to the mat in the moment–everything is and will be alright.

Oddly enough, this is why I practice. Outside of herbalism, it’s one of the few spaces where I can surrender to a tangibly higher power and know that everything is really alright. I can actually let go of my frantic me, meld into something divine and then decide whether to reside in that space of divinity or not. Most often I flow back into myself, but its so nice to know that God is always an available option.

I guess that is why I practice and teach. It always brings me back to God.

..till next time..

Take Precious Care

J

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