October 16, 2010

Why I Practice Yoga…and Write About It.

Growing up, I became quite accustomed to telling myself a damaging lie: “I am not good enough, will never be good enough, there will always be someone or something better.”

For years I destroyed myself in my efforts to achieve some measure of success, to prove that I was worthy – of what, I do not know. I would admire those with talent – the football star, the class clown, the creative spirit, the academic achiever – and find myself pale in comparison. I tried to be funny, and smart, and creative, but everything I did felt like a poor imitation of someone else’s life. Eventually it seemed that I was exhausting myself by investing all my energy in my attempts to cover up my personal plagiarism. What if someone found out that I wasn’t really who I claimed to be?

Then I found yoga—or conversely, yoga found me.

When I practice asana, I move and I feel the potent energy of my feelings rise to the surface, my hurts, my wants and needs – my untold story. I breathe and I begin to explore all that is within me, that which is good, and bad, and everything in between. As I practice and teach the magnificence that is yoga, I begin to discover my own voice, this incredible gift I have to share with the world. I learn how to magnify the blessing, and not just blindly take what is given to me but use it.

As I continue along my yoga journey, I find that there is so much to be shared. And so, I write. My writing isn’t just a choice – it’s a necessity. It’s a natural extension of my yoga practice. When I write about yoga, I don’t feel the need to be anyone other than myself. I can communicate my personal experiences honestly and openly in a way that honours myself and my practice. I inquire and investigate, and it is from nourishing these seeds that I am learning how to grow and flourish.

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna that “It is better to perform one’s own duties imperfectly than to master the duties of another. By fulfilling the obligations he is born with, a person never comes to grief.” My yoga practice isn’t about trying to become anything or anyone –  it’s about coming into who I already am. It’s not about being the best yoga teacher or the best writer or having the most popular blog; it’s simply about becoming who I am destined to be. I came to yoga not as an attempt to be somebody, but as a courageous first step in being myself. I’ve come to the realization that that too, is incredibly worthwhile.

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