MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — My favorite yoga class was canceled a few weeks ago, so after boycotting the new class that replaced it for a while, (my silent protest that hurt no one but me) I decided it was time to try the new teacher.
After all, it wasn’t his fault the other class was canceled. That class time really works in my schedule, and after a week in France I really needed to work out! So I begrudgingly dragged myself into the yoga studio and got ready to hate it. Four seconds into class my Ujjayi (yoga) breathing kicked in, my blood pressure dropped, I started smiling and realized how ridiculous I had been acting. The practice of yoga can do this for almost anything in my life if I allow it. (Key words, “if I allow it.”)
See, I take my practice very seriously, because yoga saved me. I began practicing five years ago when I was diagnosed with postpartum depression after my third child. I credit yoga (and pharmaceuticals) with helping me recover. I weaned off the drugs in about eight months, but the yoga I kept. The yoga studio was a safe haven when my marriage fell apart. The only thing I could control in my life was my breath. And that is the essence of yoga, even if you don’t do a single pose, the practice of steady breath is yoga. It taught me how to meditate, another saving grace and safe place for me.
I try to use the tenets of yoga in my daily interactions and decisions. There’s a saying in yoga, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Yoga came into my life when I needed it the most. SO DON’T MESS WITH MY YOGA!! (That ALL CAPS outburst is why yoga is called a ‘practice’. I will obviously never master it, no one really does, so we keep practicing.)
Cancelling my favorite class was a huge disappointment, but breathing in down-dog in the new class showed me it was really no big deal. We have another saying in yoga, “Each pose prepares you for the next.” I have repeated this to my kids, other women I mentor and myself countless times. It is always true. Always. Every event that occurs in your life is preparing you for the next one. Every disappointment is a lesson, each failure an opportunity to grow. (Now I sound like Walt Disney, “Keep moving forward!”) Even if I think my new class is too short, too hot, or uses strange music, I know this new yoga teacher has appeared in my life to teach me something if I am open to learning. I am.