I’m often asked why I do what I do, but I never question it. I know that yoga has always been my path. And even though I don’t know where it will lead, I’m sure I’ll find out.
Yoga is all about making connections. It starts in our very first class when we connect our breath and our movement, and it develops as we try to connect our bodies and minds, our muscles and bones, our front sides to our backs. We connect our postures with vinyasas, and we connect advanced postures to foundational ones. We connect to our environment, the universe, and maybe, the divine.
What’s more, we eventually start to connect what we learn on the mat to the rest of our lives. Our fears and aversions in practice are mirrors of our fears and aversions away from the mat. The practice becomes a metaphor for life and an important way to know ourselves more intimately. The journey is the destination – this is more than just some meaningless bit of motivation. When we’re on our mats, we’re faced with new challenges every day and we take them head-on – every time we accomplish something we don’t think we can, and every time we fall and don’t know if we can get back up but we do. We face ourselves each day on the mat and, whether we realize it or not, the strength we find there is something we carry with us in the rest of our everyday lives.
No doubt, the development of connections is a key component of our yoga practice. The connection of breath and movement, of body parts, of postures, of our practice and our lives – all of these are crucial. But, to me, the most important connection is missing from all of those.
For me, the greatest connection in yoga is the one I’ve made with all of the people I’ve met through my practice.
The connection I have to my teacher, who has nurtured me, who has forced me to face my fears, who knows my weaknesses and strengths and who knows when to push me further or slow me down.
The connection I have to my students, who inspire me and motivate me to share what I love, my crew who show up every day and put their trust in me to provide a safe space for them to practice what they love.
The connection to my closest friends who hold me up when I want to fall, who always have my back (and my front too), who I share practices and breakfasts and secrets and dreams with.
The connection to everyone doing the same thing as I am every morning all over the country and all over the world.
To everyone out there, who I share this deep connection with, to the people who I love and who I haven’t even met yet, those people who also choose to be compelled and challenged every morning over all other activities. Who choose to face their fears and contort their bodies first thing in the morning instead of hitting snooze, staying up late, and eating ice cream for dinner.
These are the connections that make this practice so special. This is why I do what I do.
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