I remember the first time on my yoga mat as if it was yesterday. About five years ago my mother gifted me a month membership at a local yoga studio and of course I just showed up for a random class without reading the description. It turned out to be a level two flow in the heat. Lets just say that I wasn't prepared. I didn't know there was such a thing as a yoga mat towel so I was slipping and sliding all over my mat and sweating like I was in Florida on the hottest day of summer. Even though I was a "hot mess" (pun intended) I loved every moment. I remember thinking it was the ultimate multi-tasking experience: mindfully breathing, exploring the physical engagements in the body, and all while trying to calm the wandering thoughts in my mind. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, this was the start to my journey through yoga. In Sanskrit this is called, “Atha Yoganushasanam,” which translates to, “Now begins the instruction or exposition on yoga.” This is the first sutra of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali that consists of 195 Sanskrit aphorisms on yoga.
I have always had the desire to learn, but in an aimless know-it-all kind of way. However, once I discovered yoga I finally felt connected to a sense of purpose, a dedication to something greater than myself. Reflecting back those five years ago, my “why” behind trying yoga was to gain flexibility in my physical body. Yet, little did I know gaining flexibility in my body, would teach me the importance of also being flexible in my mind. Once I unveiled that, it was as if I had begun my practice all over again, but with a whole new sense of purpose. That was just the tipping point, because the truth is, as I continue my yoga practice on and off my mat there will always be a new beginning. So now, I am embarking on my newest journey, towards handstand. I always felt insecure about the fact that I didn’t have a solid handstand after five years of yoga (as if there is a timeline for that). But, now I believe that I was not mentally ready to embark on that journey until now. I was holding on my past insecurities of judgment, while rushing to the future that I couldn’t possibly live in each present moment. Now, I have arrived at this juncture in time, at last ready to learn the essential teachings (anushasanam) about the nature of the true Self (yoga) to find freedom (samadhi). As I begin again, I am humbled.
Hi, I'm Lauren and I am here to support people to find freedom in being authentic and the power to carry that out in their lives and community. Writing is one way I like to explore that for myself. Here is my archive of reflections.