I’ve answered this question over and over this week, both for others and for myself. The best definition I’ve seen here in the hallways is “Yoga is the practice of tolerating the consequences of being yourself.” (Bagavad Gita)
It’s been a week of intensities – some gentle, some fierce, all deeply felt.
Noticing so much. Noticing missing chocolate and wine. Noticing moments when I feel lonely and others when I feel cramped for space.
Riding a wave. Loneliness. Connectedness. Fullness. Sudden tears.
Learning more than I have in eons in terms of new words and concepts — Virabhadrasna, Ischial Tubrosities, citta vritti ….
Meeting 60-some new people and noticing people’s energies. Increasingly, I am smiling and hugging and touching these people before I even think about it – a beautiful response mechanism. But also contracting today when hundreds of visitors showed up at Kripalu for the holiday weekend.
You never meet anyone else but yourself.
~ Ram Das
Watching myself as a 44-year old woman in a dorm room of mainly 20-somethings. Amazed by their young bodies – did I ever look like that? Feeling so gentle toward them as they remind me of younger iterations of myself, struggling with fears, becoming more themselves. But so grateful that we’re on this journey together.
Missing my children today since lots of kids have shown up for family programs. But also confident of their well-being.
Nourishing myself. Sitting in thanks before I eat and finding, very often, that this brings tears of gratitude.
Strengthening in ways I can’t even see yet – through asana, through sitting in class for hours, through being away from people and things that I love and which comfort me.
If you hold a pose long enough, your stuff is going to show up. I assure you!
~ Sudha, my teacher
Trying to settle into Week 2. Settle into this place, this experience no longer being at the beginning nor at the end – not unlike where I am in life now. Surrendering, surrendering, surrendering – to grace, to beauty, to the places that scare me. Breathing them in, smoothing out the rough spots.
Inhale. Now go in, be stronger. Let go. Find strength. This dance, this is yoga to me.