Yoga and I have had a complicated relationship. It’s nothing either one of us has ever done, but…ok, that’s a lie. It’s something I’ve done. Something not at all surprising to anyone who knows me and my propensity for never finishing anything.
I first became acquainted with yoga when I was about sixteen. Once I was over pretending to be a punk rockster, I wholeheartedly – well, halfheartedly – began to embrace everything “hippie”.
Yoga, for me, began with cheap workout DVDs and a little blue book of yoga poses and spaces to write one’s reflections following each practice. Now that you know that little secret about me, it shouldn’t shock you that the fill-in-the-blanks spaces of the book remained largely crisp and clean, free of musings and reminisces.
The little stick figure-led yoga series, however, got a lot of use. I would drag my green yoga mat with its twirly flower embellishment out onto the back lawn and forward-fold and downward-dog to my heart’s content. Until I just didn’t anymore.
You know the drill. Studying, the latest crush, choir practice…basically, life got in the way. The little blue book was eventually relegated to the back of the bookshelf, to gather dust along with DIY Makeup Tips and The Wiccan Bible. I know, I was an odd kid.
But, unlike the many how-to books and flash-in-the-pan interests that have flitted in and out of my line of sight in the past dozen years (think clay sculpting, marathon running, poem memorizing), yoga has had a tendency to meander back in, seemingly at random.
I have expended fitness punch cards on yoga classes, snapped up the First Month Free offer for almost every yoga video website, and vacillated between being able to get my nose to my knee and barely managing to reach my toes.
I should add that throughout most of this aimless wandering, I have sustained a 3-minute, self-altered sun salutation series almost every morning for about eight years. If this sounds impressive, it really shouldn’t. It’s born largely of necessity – a few missed days and my neck and shoulders declare war – and because it is so fast and rarely changes, really doesn’t further my yoga practice. But it’s something, right?
A week ago, though, I snapped up a membership at a great yoga studio a mere five-minute walk from my house. If that, coupled with my recently wide open work schedule, doesn’t remove every conceivable excuse from my well-worn book of excuses, then nothing will.
All the classes I have attended so far have been spectacular – mind-expanding, relaxing, and challenging. I sincerely hope this latest foray into the yogic world will be my last first time, and turn into YTT, experiences in India, and impressive feats of strength and flexibility. Most significantly, though, I want this one, rare thing I’ve felt a connection to for almost half my life to become an intrinsic part of my everyday existence, transforming my mind, my body, my knowledge, and my soul.
I just have to keep chasing it. Practice, practice, practice.