Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yogic Journey

Yoga.

This is such a loaded word for me.

While the word “Yoga” came from the Sanskrit root word "yuj" which means "to unite or integrate", it personally brings so much more to mind.

If I think about my personal history of yoga, it takes me back to college.  My beginning.  Back to a time when I was combating depression, anxiety, and all sorts of issues.  I used yoga to slow my mind and to tune into my body.  Yoga is about the union of a person's own consciousness and the universal consciousness.   At this time, I was only working on half of that equation: my own consciousness.  I discovered yoga out of curiosity and quickly realized what a gift it is.  I’ve always said that practicing yoga is like giving yourself a big, warm hug.  It was an extraordinary act of love at a time when I needed it most.

As time went on, my practice evolved as I did.  My practice today is filled with even more depth and virtue than ever before.  It is a devotion.  I have learned to let go of the outcome of each practice and I have accepted that I will never be a super bendy yoga master.  I can’t do a headstand and I use props.  Even so, I love my body.  I am grateful for my breath.  And I treasure my practice, more than ever.

Beyond me, “Yoga” brings to mind people that have influenced me in some way.  I’ve been able to meet some incredible human beings because of yoga.  Zoe is one of them.  I’ve mentioned her in past blogs, raving about her classes and mentioning that Angela and I were having private sessions with her.  Zoe is now onto her next adventure in Portland.  But before she left, Ang and I attended a yoga farewell “party” for her.  A group of us practiced together with Zoe’s voice leading the way and the acoustics of her friend Toby's guitar.  It was truly magical.  We enjoyed a Kava Tea Ceremony and played music afterwards.  There were so many free spirits and kind souls in one room, the energy was reverberating off the walls!  If it weren’t for yoga, what would bring this unique group of people together?

zoe.  our ray of light.

Last night’s final private session with Zoe brought tears to my eyes.  I am not a crier by nature, so this says something about the power of all that energy in one space.  My heart creaked open a little further than normal and it was cathartic.  It was hard to say good-bye to someone that has been so influential in my practice and my life, but I know that I am more enlightened today than I was when I first stepped on my mat four years ago, thanks to her.

Just like life and running, yoga is a journey.  We always say “it’s not about the destination”, right?  It’s about right now.  This moment.  Yoga has taught me to live in the present.  Consciously, Mindfully, and Compassionately.

Ahh, Yoga.  I love that word and all of the weight it carries.

27 comments:

  1. Well said. I love my yoga. It calms down my crazy over achieving self and helps me breathe and be calm and alive and present.

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  2. So good with your words Kate! I felt like I was there...this has to be a wonderful form of exercise for you right now. Are you still on exercise restriction? Which leads me to ask, are you still considering the Chicago marathon? You are on such an amazing adventure...

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  3. I love this post. I did yoga today (I'm a totaly newbie to yoga) and I just love how it makes me feel. :)

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  4. I am blessed to do work study with an amazing yoga studio to obtain free yoga classes. One of my favorite instructors happens to do energy work (where they can change your energy it's AMAZING!) and I love going to her class I've left it and I've left ecstatic. She is so good about getting you into an even deeper place that you need to go. I love my yoga journey, next week I will be partcipating in my second Mala which if you ever can attend one is the most spirtual and amazing athletic event you will do!

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  5. What a beautiful post! I always thought yoga was kind of weird until I tried it and I am pleased to say that I "get it"! I'll often end a run with a few yoga poses and it feels oh so good.

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  6. Thank you for this. Yoga has given me so much, especially the chance to love a body that I didn't think I'd ever love, much less call beautiful now. I still feel like I have so much left to learn but that is the beauty of a life of yoga, in all its facets beyond the asanas. Namaste, dear.

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  7. Oh Kate how touching...it brought a tear to my eyes as I have been in those types of classes. It is a huge part of my journey and who I am today. With my half IM training, I have not been able to practice and do so miss my mat. My practice continues to be a part of me staying in balance. Thanks for sharing!!

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  8. After reading this I really feel like I am missing out on so much...I have never tried yoga although I have always been curious and talked about taking up a yoga class. I think it's time I experienced this wonderful magic...Don't you?

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  9. Love this class. I NEED to go and do yoga. Living in the sticks like I do, there is no decent yoga teacher around. Do you think I can start with DVDs and then just find the occasional class I can do when I'm traveling and can find a decent class?

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  10. i love this. this makes me want to get into practicing it in a real studio, not a noisy gym. ;)

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