When I was in my 30s, a wise Yoga instructor in her 60s said to me, “We start Yoga three times in our lives”. I was happy to hear this because it was my first class in over a year, having been preoccupied with grad school, work, parenting and finding a new apartment. My “first time” in Yoga had made such a profound impact on every aspect of my being that when I returned to classes I knew just what to look for in a teacher, studio and environment. I missed Rae Kline, my first Yoga teacher, but I discovered that she was right there with me as I found other teachers who demonstrated and lived what Rae had taught me and took me further along my path. My judging mind could classify some as “better” and some as “worse” teachers, but by then I knew enough about the mental part of the practice to catch myself, take a deep breath, and challenge my judging mind to let go, be kind and compassionate and learn from all the teachers. They each had many things to teach me as long as I maintained an open mind and an open heart.
How is my Yoga practice now, as I approach my 65th year? I cannot imagine my life without Yoga. I cannot express my gratitude for the many teachers, students and friends who have shared the path with me. Through the “worst of times” and through the “best of times”, my time on my Yoga mat has provided a steady, safe and compassionate home base to return to again and again. “In sickness or in health” my practice is there. All I have to do is spread my mat on the floor and lie down and begin to breathe. My mind, my body and my spirit begin their dance. My heartbeat and breath are the rhythm section of my life. Sometimes I move through over twenty different postures, sometimes I take a nap and sometimes I grab a journal and find clarity of mind as I write the best letter ever.
I sat down today with the intention of writing about how Yoga can guide us through the economic crisis that we are experiencing. You are not in this alone. Times are very challenging for all of us.
Learn and remember to:
keep your body strong and flexible
focus your thoughts on positive and calming images
have a safe place to come together with other like-minded people
practice being gentle with yourself
connect with Spirit
let go of inner and outer manifestations of fear and stress
Each of us is finding ways to change our lifestyles in order to accommodate the world-wide changes in climate, finances and technology. I believe that it is a perfect time to invest in yourself. Invest in the health of your mind, body and spirit. Then share that investment with your family, your friends and your community. Then take some time to think globally. There are millions of people who are regular Yoga practitioners, mediators, and spiritually dedicated beings living in every country on this planet. We are not alone.
If this is your second, third or even your fourth time coming back to Yoga, please know that we welcome you at Yoga for Health. I hope to see many of you again soon.