My relationship with yoga began about 8 years ago. I wasn’t looking for anything serious, just a casual thing I could do to work out, get toned, and relieve stress. I would say for the first couple of classes it was purely physical. I was initially attracted to the practice for aesthetic reasons and instant gratification. What can I say? It was exciting and new. I was obsessed with the physical challenge, the sweat, the heat, the fancy arm balances and dance-like flow.
After only a year of my relationship with yoga, I decided to take the next step by enrolling in teacher training. That was when I really got to know the practice for what it was, which led to a deeper relationship. However, just like with any other relationship, the practice held a mirror up to my imperfections, challenges, attachments, fears and insecurities. But it wasn’t until I got hurt did I realize that my dependency on the practice to solve my problems, make me feel whole, and reinforce bad habits was not sustainable. From that moment, I changed the way I practiced, and I changed the way I taught. I began meditating, living my yoga, and using the poses to understand myself versus trying to force my body to be in a pose. For me, this was a game changer because my purpose was no longer about short-term results. Instead, it was about building a long-lasting and sustainable relationship with my practice.
With the increasing popularity of yoga, with various styles and schools advertising that their yoga is the best yoga, perhaps you may be questioning the validity of your relationship with the practice. But the truth is, that there isn’t one yoga that is universally better or more valid than another. Just like all relationships, they are just different from one another. So, whether your current relationship with yoga is flashy and exciting or simple and slow, the biggest question to ask yourself is, “Why am I here?” The answer may change from day to day, but as long as you find meaning in your practice, your relationship with yoga will go the distance.
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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.