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My yoga practice is my sacred space not only to play but also to explore asana and experience my life’s journey. It has been significant in helping me recover from an eating disorder, anxiety and depression. With the support of the kula, the yoga community, I have developed genuine friendships, compassion and self-esteem. Yoga has been transformative, not in changing who I am, but in allowing my core self to emerge and flourish while sifting away pejorative notions not conducive to me. During my asana practice, what comes up for me on the mat, whether it is a pose that I find natural or one that is challenging, provides me with an opportunity to look at myself and my surroundings. When I am balanced and aligned with my inner nature, I can look at what is surfacing without judgment and adjust to what is. I can consider ways in which I would like to adjust, or soften and accept where I am. Yoga has provided me with a foundation and options of pathways to take. At times I may be clueless about my direction, and I find I need to stop and take inventory. However, as long as I go forward with breath and awareness, I get back on track. I am fortunate for the days I can look at my practice and myself without judgment, with simple awareness and appreciation for what it is in the moment. I can ask for adaptations that may or may not suit my body, spirit, or mind, but either way I can try it on for size. I am learning it’s not all about perfect alignment; if it were, that would mean it’s about trying to be perfect in my day to day life. This has proven to be an unnecessary and unattainable task. What is important is to honor, respect and recognize where I am and that I am perfectly imperfect. In doing the pose for Yoga Journal, I was struggling to ‘attain’ Vrschikasana. As the Anusara invocation came to mind, I recognized the beauty within my essence, and the joy I have found in my yoga practice. I was able to soften and to know that where I was, was enough. The feeling was all-encompassing. The joyous expression on my face in this pose was the moment of awareness and acceptance of the pose and myself as is, both imperfect and radiant. Yoga is my teacher and parent. It is my playground, allowing me self-expression and a safe place to learn and grow. It is my healer and my spiritual guide. I find I need to listen to the wisdom in my heart as well as the feedback and support of my kula. The instructors and yogis in my community have provided many gifts of grace. They have warmed and nurtured my practice and my spirit. To echo the Anusara invocation, I am grateful to honor the teacher within as well as without, and to know that it is always present and sparkling with divine luster.