Lifting my heart


My recent return to yoga after a decade away was inspired in part by a dear friend of mine. She told me that her yoga practice has changed her life after taking have a teacher training in Rishikesh, India. I read her reflections on yoga and began to understand that it was much more than the physical practice. It was all encompassing.

I like holistic approaches to life. I look for ways to create balance.

And I have been searching for a way to heal the trauma in my body, both physical and emotional. I want a healthy way to create a spiritual defense that moves in harmony with the surprises that come my way from the universe each day.

I have no desire to wage war or battle against anyone, particularly my own self. When I go to bed angry or upset, I wake up feeling even worse.

A week or so ago, my yoga teacher sent an email reminding everyone in my class to come to the studio or to be practicing at home at least three times a week. I instantly worried that she thought I was shirking on my commitment, and then I realized that the only person I should truly worry about was myself. If I was not practicing, I was not honoring the commitment I made to my own self and the desire to be whole and well.

Despite the fact that I am working for no financial compensation at present, I purchased a month pass and have been practicing at the studio for the past two weeks, learning from incredibly beautiful and patient yogi teachers.

I have taken copious notes and started to imagine the kinds of asanas I would like to include in the class I will be teaching in July. My class will focus on Aparigraha, non-attachment. When I think about holding onto something tightly, I imagine a body hunched over. To create a way to release this firm grasp, I envision creating a flow of poses that will help to lengthen the spine and open the heart.

It takes time to build the confidence and readiness for non-attachment. I would like to design a particular flow of asanas that start with gentle encouragement and build to create a place of spaciousness where people feel safe letting go.

For many years and especially the past several weeks, I have been practicing one of Patanjali’s ethical rules for “right living:” Aparigraha. Aparigraha is a sanksrit term for the concept of non-attachment.

Aparigraha comes at a tumultuous time of transition for me. Sometimes, I wonder if I will ever be free from transition. Even a temporary respite would be nice. I have been moving through an unexpected shift in the vision I had for my professional career.

There were many reasons I chose yoga, but I think the most important was to create the balance I mentioned above. And this balance comes with building a solid foundation from which I can stand steadily on my own two feet.

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I can create the safe space for letting go and lifting my heart to the sky when I feel supported from below. This support comes from the people around the globe who believe in me and send love and words of encouragement and faith that I will succeed.

It is now my turn to trust in my foundation and stand tall.


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