Yoga teaches me that it’s okay to fart or queef or whatever in public...gas happens! Yoga works not only on the muscles and bones, but all the tissues, including the organs. On a summer's day in late 2010, I attended a Hatha class with Mandy Eubanks at Yoga Yoga North.
As is customary in most anusara classes, there was partner work in class. My partner, 6'4" & 280 lbs, was to assist me as I floated into a handstand against the wall; and conversely I was to pray as he elevated his trunks toward the same wall. He went first and halfway got there after two attempts. With a sweaty brow, he nodded his head in conceit and acknowledgement that it was now my turn to try.
Yoga reminds me that all the tools I need to do what I need to do are inside of me right now! And this remembering process that I access through yoga and meditation is the definition of love. To know and appreciate my wholeness, that's love, man.
Yoga reminds me that I am whole and complete in this moment. This moment, sitting here, typing this message, is full and realized. It is realized because I dwell in it and recognize its wholeness - nothing more needed to make it better.
Yoga teaches me what Bob was talking about with that whole mental slavery thing. “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our mind.” We all have internal chatter that can enslave us into believing something that simply is not true. Gary Kraftsow calls it “The story we tell ourselves about ourselves.”
Yoga teaches me that most everything is a meditation. When I first began going to yoga classes, I practiced kundalini yoga most of the time. I loved these classes because at the end we always practiced a meditation. Sometimes the meditation included singing, weird breathing, and holding my arms in odd positions. I remember holding my arms up one time and feeling like an acupressure point was being pressed. It hurt so bad that it made my stomach hurt. I decided I would put my arms down. At that exact moment the teacher said “just a little while longer, hold steady, you’re not going to die.” Though it felt like I was going to perish at any moment, I held steady through the discomfort.
Yoga teaches me to use my voice. In an earlier lesson, I wrote about yoga bringing me back to my singing voice. Once I began to get comfortable with the sound of my voice, I began to use it to set boundaries in my personal and professional life.
Yoga teaches me not to compare myself to others & embrace my unique essence. In Marie Forleo’s B-School, she talks about two business models - 1. The Shark Model in which you are in competition with anyone who offers your product or service 2. The Wide Blue Ocean Model (I am paraphrasing) in which you realize that what you have to offer is special and unique and in that way you don’t have to compete because what you have is so different.
Yoga teaches me not to compare myself to others. I remember when I first began practicing yoga. I looked around the room during each posture to gauge the final shape I was trying to attain. Mostly I looked to the teachers who seemed to be picturesque in each and every posture.
Yoga teaches me that it's okay to take a nap. I used to feel lazy when I took a nap and felt kinda guilty going to sleep midday. I was surprised to hear one of my peers in yoga teacher training say the same thing, except she simply refuses to nap! "I was brought up to work hard and napping is regarded as laziness, so I don't nap." she said.
Yoga teaches me to take a big deep breath before I say something I will regret. You know the feeling right before you send that angry email or say that spiteful comment? I am very familiar with it, and have said things that caused conflict and even burned some bridges.
Hi! I'm Robin - Teacher, Singer, & Author. I love creativity & sharing what I love!