Okay, you guys. Do me a favor and while reading this post, try to forget that I am a registered yoga teacher, and instead just pretend that I’m a beginner. Because, guess what? In a way, I am. Without getting too woo-woo on you, we all are, even the most advanced yogi. Every time you step on your yoga mat, you are new, the practice is new, your body is new, it’s all new. Some parts may seem familiar but for the most part, you have a fresh clean slate and you’ve never been where you’re going. And that is honestly one of the many things about yoga that I love! Anyway…
This morning I went to an actual class for the first time in… a while. I mean, I have a million excuses… injury, exhaustion, that whole kid thing, time, etc, etc, etc. Whatever. I was literally in the parking lot trying to talk myself out of going, I had other things with which I could easily fill up 90 minutes, I hadn’t practiced in months (um, total ego working, that’s exactly why I SHOULD go in to class), I was restless and impatient and feeling like I had fallen behind in my practice and would be stiff and sore and too wrapped up in my own self-deprecating thoughts to get anything out of the practice… wow, clearly I really needed this class. So, once I realized what was happening in my head and how much I actually needed to get my butt in there, I went for it. And boy, oh boy, was it my lucky day, because the teacher’s message was just for me.
We have a choice. In every moment, we have a choice. We can choose to take the yoga class, or choose to drive away and sit at Starbucks and get sucked into the internet instead. We can choose to plan ahead and prepare healthy meals to support our body and our best health, or we can choose get take-out for the third time in a week. We can choose to yell at our kids in a moment of frustration, or choose to stop what we’re doing, take a deep breath and take a moment to get on their level. We can choose to argue and disagree with our significant other, or choose to slow down and try to understand their point of view. We can choose to dwell on regrets we have over the past, or choose to live fully in the present and appreciate all the gifts we have in our life right now. We can choose to let anxiety and worry and stress take away our peace of mind, or we can recognize what a waste of time that would be, and instead choose happiness, gratitude, and love for the present moment. We can choose to judge ourselves (or others) harshly, to let our own negative judgments keep us from experiencing all that this life has for us, or we can choose to be OPEN, to slow down, recognize the recurring patterns of our thoughts and subsequent behavior, and then again, choose to change.
There is no need to push negative feelings down, to ignore them, or to try to replace them. The need lies in recognizing and allowing yourself to feel these things, but then also in understanding that you are not your feelings. It’s so easy to identify with our feelings, to believe we are that which we feel. But we are so much more! We are strong, powerful, beautiful – we are filled with light! We are meant to connect with each other, we are meant to give and to receive… we are meant for soooooo much more than what 99% of the population believes is true for themselves.
My request for you today is to simply slow down, recognize that you have a choice. You don’t have to be sad, you don’t have to feel rushed, you don’t have to feel sick and tired, you don’t have to be angry, you don’t have to be anything but the light and the love that you truly are.