My yoga is not a balloon. It's usually not whimsical and light. It doesn't always invoke euphoria. Most days my practice and my teaching are very rooted in what's palpable: Choice through suggestion. Observation of an experience. Presence through impermanence. The grounding qualities of an asana/pranayama/meditation practice is what did and still does draw me in. There is an ocean to be explored in that and it's how the seed sprouted in me. Learning how the only way to grow and evolve was to get really deep in the dirt with myself. Getting familiar in darkness gave way to sincere appreciation for what is light and easy and even more understanding that it's cyclical and bound together. Yoga.
I recognize that I have a purpose when I teach and when I practice, there might be broad outlines or areas of what I am feeling drawn towards any certain month. But in essence, I am mostly just reiterating this same philosophy day after day. Hoping that it will either resonate and remind a student what they already know to be true or reveal another layer to my own journey. Sometimes I am the earth supporting from beneath and sometimes the footprints walking onwards.
There is a spectrum of ways that I apply what I've learned on my mat into my life, but I cannot say that I have done it alone or with the help of books or attending a ton of classes. For me, it's been an integration of experience and a practice of accountability only I can administer.
Years ago I remember attending a well known and respected teachers class. Unfortunately, it left me feeling like I unknowingly got dragged to an evangelical Sunday yoga service instead of a place to find my own centre. I unknowingly paid to watch her perform rather than support and I walked away learning more about her talents than about myself. I reminded myself that we are so individually different and seeds sprout in unique ways. When that experience didn't connect me to that teacher, I kept looking. As a student, I seek teachers that embody principles and integrity that align with my own objectives. Ones that are able to effortlessly hold a mirror in front of themselves so I can begin to see my own pitfalls. As a teacher (and mother), my primary intention is to illustrate only that what I whole heartedly know is truth.
I have been fortunate to have three amazing mentors that have had a profound affect on my life both on and off the mat. I think of them often when I am faced with obstacles. I gravitated towards each very different teacher because they awoke something within me that inspired change, and to me, I could easily see their syllabus. They did this without telling me what worked for them or what book to read or type of therapy could help me. They were fluid and transparent, yet clear and anchored. Their power was in reminder through suggestion and an extraordinary display of compassion through witnessing. Each allowed me to reconnect to something I already knew to be true...
In this new chapter in my life where I am anywhere but familiar, I continue to discover these pieces of my syllabus that are so simple to embrace yet sometimes so easy to forget. It gives me a sense of home no matter where I am.