Hello, My Friend.
It has been a while since I have settled down at my laptop and written to you. I have been thinking of this post for a while now. This post has gently turned itself over in my mind and settled around my shoulders as I stretch.
Yoga changed my life.
An older version of me would often chuckle at the phrase “… changed my life!” I would snort or roll my eyes believing that nothing could change your life unless it came from the external world around you.
Now that I reflect, that is completely absurd to me. I believe now that the world around us is the result of our thoughts, feelings, growth, energy and our inward selves. With certainty, I can see that my cynicism came from someone who was terrified of trying and believed she was destined for more pain.
Yoga forced me to sit down every day for 30 minutes and reflect. How have I acted today? Did I present my best self? Were my actions centred around trying to be kind?
I realised that yoga was changing my life when I stopped practicing it daily for 2 weeks. It was during my move to my flat, and I (wrongly) assumed I needed a break. Now, I would say the daily practice of yoga was crucial for my healing. I noticed that my thought process started slipping back to negativity and self deprecation. Things I knew to be true, I began to doubt again.
Yoga stopped being about the movement, and became about integrity. How can I move with integrity in everything I do? It started with the movements. The youtube video wouldn’t know if I took a break in plank pose, or slackened my bridge pose; but I would. Everyone else in my life might not know how I truly felt, but I would.
So, with every day that passed, I tried my hardest to be kind, forgiving and to move with integrity.
I messed up a lot. When I came to my mat, I would sit with worry about a joke I made at someone’s expense. A quick quip that I made unlovingly. I would worry, until my body forced me to forgive with the endorphins released from the 30 minutes of self-love. Instead of scrutinising my actions, I dedicated myself to not committing the same mistake.
A moment came with a new friend that was reminiscent of an old situation, where I ruminated on whether or not to tell her something. Instead of acting with urgency, I sat on the thought, came to the mat with my query and after a week, my friend smiled and laughed with me as I told her what I had been worried to mention.
It was a very simple moment of honesty, growth and most importantly: Integrity.
I silently celebrated myself and encouraged myself to continue taking things slowly, the same way I do in my daily yoga practice. I began to unfold the same way my ferns grow. Where before I was a tiny ball angrily shaking my fist at the world, I began to stretch, open and unravel. Instead of being shaken by the wind, I flowed. The external world cannot touch me if my internal world is filled with integrity, joy and self-belief.
When 30 days of Yoga taught me it was okay to make mistakes, 6 months has taught me to take things less seriously. Yoga taught me to unwind and smile, and take risks because, at the end of the day, the yoga mat always has my back.
I have been participating in the daily practice of yoga for 4 months now, and honestly, it has been wonderful. I never thought that was a goal I was able to achieve until I had achieved it.
What have you enjoyed about the first 6 months of 2021? How have you changed? What have you learned?
I cannot wait to read your answers.
Thank you so much for making the time to reach this far into the post. I am so grateful for you.
A Song For You: Deepest Lonely, Birdy – “Dancing in the shadows of our sweet escape.”