Namaste Buddhis! So excited to announce this new addition to the BuddhiBlog – BuddhiBkhakti.
We all can remember how we started yoga and why. How the universe led us to our first class and the moment we fell in love with our practice and made the commitment to ourselves to live our yoga on and off the mat. For some it was health reasons, for others it was to find peace, and for others it provided a community of support to heal. I have been lucky to hear the stories of many of my fellow yoga teachers, students, and individuals across the US and even the world. And each one inspires me, gives me a sense of gratitude, hope, or just is a good reminder of how powerful yoga really is. The ever inspiring Sharon Gannon says you cannot do yoga, yoga is our natural state. And in hearing these stories, you really understand that. Each one is a narrative, a mantra, a devotion. I decided to call these chapters, the BuddhiBhakti because that is what they are – buddhi, an intuitive faculty giving increased spiritual awareness & bhakti meaning the yoga of devotion. In essence, our spiritual awareness that leads to our yoga devotion.
So every few weeks, I will share someone’s story with you in hopes that it will bring you joy, energy, and inspiration.
I had practiced yoga throughout my 20’s. Mainly in big gyms that I worked out at. I made myself go because I think I knew deep down that I needed it. But honestly I much preferred running around like a hamster on a wheel on the treadmill. I was not committed, could not understand why it was so slow paced, and I felt it really was not a good use of my time if I wanted to fit into a size 2. Priorities…I needed to be skinny and pretty and funny and smart and please everyone. Sound familiar? And so every so often I would attempt to make it to another class and make it stick. But the reality was that I was too concerned trying to be all these things to others, that I could not commit to yoga because I could not commit to find the truth in myself. The slow pace that forced me to breathe deep was intimidating, and the stillness of my limbs and thoughts were scary.
But as I grew older the universe threw me all those life lessons I needed, but not necessarily wanted. Like the betrayal from a friend, the loss of my father, the loss of my beloved therapy dog, and the unexplained illness of my husband. It came on one after another like deep swells of a hurricane. I reacted. It was all knew how to do. Playing the victim. Late night drinking spells after long days at the hospital. Bursting into tears at any point of time. Fighting against my life partner. Why? Why is this happening? I would ask myself again and again, sure that life was happening to me instead of understanding my role as an active participant.
Then 4 years ago, a Corepower Yoga studio opened in my neighborhood. One free week. Why not? Walking into a 105 degree room with 40% humidity was an immediate shock to my system, but the warmth felt good. Like a big cup of tea, a warm blanket, or a loving embrace.
Half way through I was mentally cursing the instructor – doesn’t she understand that not everyone can touch their forehead to their knee and why – can’t – I – catch – a -breath? I run 1/2 marathons for god’s sake.
One third of the way through, I was a sweaty mess. Mascara everywhere, clothes sopping, pruned fingers. This is torture, who actually enjoys this? Why-can’t-I-balance-on-one-leg? Frustration.
The end. Savasana. Stillness. Death. Love. I was hooked.
The challenge, the detoxification, feeling my heart beat in every single posture created a connection I had never felt before. Since that day, my yoga has become a daily ritual. My daily devotion to myself. But what I learned was it goes much further than the postures. It is the 8 limb path of leading a pure life. One of compassion, honestly, generosity, simplicity, and wellness. In many respects, I had been living this lifestyle for some time. Always active in charities, assisting friends in need, taking care of people and animals. I just never really knew it as yoga, my natural state.
18 months ago, I became an instructor. When I went through teacher training it was to learn more about my practice. But then I wanted to share and connect with my community. I feel so fortunate to be able to do so and see my students grow every single week. To be able to learn about their lives and what brings them to their mat. And to share what inspires me so that they stay inspired too.
I am grateful for this journey and where it has brought me. And now I get to share others stories because of my journey.
What is your story? Share it with us. And if you would like your story told, contact me at [email protected]
With kindness every day,