yoga: strength & grace.
my job, while here in portugal, is to teach yoga to a group of super passionate female athletes. every morning at 7 am they, along with a slew of others including bike mechanics and cycling dealers, file into the dining space we are using as a yoga studio, and show up. completely. no “i’m super tired, my legs hurt, i don’t like yoga” comments have been uttered. for the 45 minutes they are there, they listen and they give what they’ve got, even pre-cappuccino.
i have forgotten what it’s like to just begin practicing yoga. the looking around, wondering if you are doing it correctly, even a bit of competitiveness as you first struggle through the poses. and one of my favorite things as a teacher is to create the space where you let the ego go. in my own practice, i’m drawn toward the teacher that pushes me without needing perfection and, in fact, celebrates the art of being a little messier on the mat. exploring your breath, your edge, and making that delicious exit out of your head and into your heart.
but watching these passionate, super healthy women, i’ve noticed that i’ve also gotten a little lazier in my practice, almost fearful of what a heavy dose of discipline would do to me. would it make me a better person, or more critical/guilt-ridden/obsessive? in the past i’ve struggled with body image and eating disorders, and have made it my personal intention to never ever make my way back to that space.
while i’m here my job is to teach yoga. to inspire these women to keep stretching, pushing, breathing super deeply. and at the same time, while i’m here, my job is to take a really good look at my relationship to challenge. where am i playing small? wehre am i better utilized? where am i holding myself back?
yoga is the art and practice of connecting to YOUR truth. even if it’s not pretty. in fact, especially when it’s not pretty. that’s when you get into all the good, juicy stuff.
finding that beautiful balance of yin and yang, sweat and rest, strength and grace, sthira and sukha.