A tool for all life's encounters.
Walking through the doors. Greeted with a smile. And a kind "hello, how are you." The smile, contagious quickly encourages the sides of my mouth to slide up towards my ears. Making the friendly, half crescent shape upon my face. And I exchange pleasantries.
I crack open the door. Soft music plays in the background. The lightning, not pitch black, but just light enough to see shapes of figures in the room. I meander around the people finding an opening. Unrolling my mat and towel I find a seat. Soften the eyes and surrender into the space.
This place. It serves something special for me. A sanctuary. A place where judgement melts away. Social media. Phone calls. Texts. And emails. Not invited.
Eight and a half years ago this journey into yoga started. But each day I arrive on my mat. It is like that first day I walked through the yoga studio. The words now make a bit more sense. Some poses a bit easier. While others still as unattainable as they were 8 years before.
Yoga can be intimidating. Especially when the ego takes us down the story telling road.
We walk in the room. Scan it and begin to create a story for each person in there. As if we were sizing up our opponents in a battle to the death. The reality. Whether the person on the mat has practiced for 50 years. Or 5 minutes. They. Like us. All have a story. One we may never know. And they may never know ours. But what we both share. Is the fact we left the office. House. Battled traffic. And rolled into this studio. Even though. We may not want to be here.
The common mantra in yoga is. "This is your practice, do what serves you." Many of us may not understand the direct meaning of that. Especially those of us A type personality or ones loaded with masculinity and ego. We feel if we do not push to the limit we are not receiving the benefits. However Yoga is just the opposite. Less can be more. On many occasions. Yes we should push ourselves and find the limits of our boundaries. But that does not mean push so much to sacrifice our vessels, the body and the shape it needs to be in.
Many times we scan the rooms to see what everyone else is doing. Which is ok. But if our body is saying drop a knee. Or the breath shortens. We should back out. Just a bit. Maybe we revisit that depth. Or maybe we stay right where we are.
As a 39 year old man. Yoga continues to change my world. It is something I wish I had 25 years ago. Not just for the athletic side of my life. But the mental aspect of yoga. Business. Competition. Or life. I use the practice of yoga daily. The deeper I tap into this. The bigger the rewards.
I am grateful to have walked into that studio years ago. But even more grateful I am still walking into one eight years later.