Yoga absolutely changed my life. And the deeper I found myself in my yoga practice, I had to realize, that for the very reasons yoga saved me, I had to work to release my attachments to it completely.
I had found the most amazing release! Better than any high, any human touch or interaction, a feeling that is solely from within me and just for my experience. I had found a way to free myself inside of my body, how to move so that I felt open, alive, confident. For the first time in my life, something came naturally to me. I had a natural talent and progressed quicker than I had at anything ever before. As I fell in love with this newfound liberation, I developed an emotional attachment to the practice and my own progress within the practice.
It was for this reason, I had to renounce the practice completely.
Yes, I could move within my own body, but could I sit within myself? How deeply could I sit in my own seat, how deeply could I feel my emotions, and how long had I been so disconnected from the person that’s inside of this body I’ve been moving around so much? Who was this person I had been running from, escaping for years? What did she want, and why had I been so afraid of her? When exactly did I decide to reject myself? How could I find my way to myself? Could I ever??
I spent so much time pushing myself, “working hard,” “grinding,” climbing stairs(literally), I had begun to identify myself with success, when in all reality, I had found a way to work with momentary release, making it work for me, so that I didn’t have to fully think and be alone inside of my own mind. I transformed in my practice throughout my training to become an instructor, but I had to face one cold hard fact coming out the other side of my teacher training graduation: Just bc you can physically do the yoga posture, it doesn’t mean that you are prepared mentally and emotionally to guide others back into themselves. We have to find a place of authenticity within ourselves, before we can inspire others to do the same. Physically I had excelled in my training, but I had to allow my mind and thought process to catch up, and join the strides I had made within my body and muscle tissue.
I had to be okay doing absolutely, completely nothing. Working out excessively, constant stretching and movement to keep my thoughts in motion, was ultimately doing my soul a disservice. I knew in my heart that true growth would come from finding a way to keep my thoughts flowing without having to “do” anything. Sculpting your person and becoming “fit” is an amazing feeling, but it isn’t that soul filling, wholeness, kind of feeling. Distraction isn’t the same thing as happiness, I learned quickly.
For myself, the true healing began when I was able to find comfort within myself. When I was able to face my own internal feelings of shame, self doubt, and judgement. When I chose to sit with me, to forgive me, to love me, to nurture me. When I learned to hold my body instead of push my body.
The catalyst to my newfound healing and comfort: the way I spoke to myself. The words I used to describe my person, the way I allowed myself to think about the person that I was. When I chose compassion, rather than to continue to judge myself for my past. The more I opened my perspective relating to internal communication within my body, my body reacted and responded to me differently. I no longer felt as anxious, I no longer found myself shaking or nervously moving. I no longer felt the need to push myself and physically exhaust myself. I began to find an overwhelming sense of contentment and comfort in solitude, and couldn’t wait until I could find some time to myself just to meditate and be with myself! For so long, I was the last person that I wanted to be alone with, and suddenly, nothing compared to the time that I got to spend alone with myself. I truly began to understand what it meant to love myself and my body.
Once I then reimplement my personal yoga practice, my connection to my body had grown exponentially. I was connected to my body and my limbs and my muscles in a way I hadn’t been before. I felt the stretches deeper, I completely lost myself in my movement, thinking of nothing but my body and my soul in harmony.
This is why I want to guide others into their own meditative practice. It’s this sense of peace, and reconstruction of personal perspective, that I feel can only come through getting comfortable with facing every part of yourself, seeing yourself truly and completely, and choosing to love yourself because of everything that you are inside. This is the healing that I feel called to share with others.