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When I was nineteen, I had this boyfriend. I was obsessed with him. On the rare occasions that we weren’t together, I was talking about him ad nauseam. I dropped all my friends and most of my life to be with him. I clung so tightly. The desperation made me feel miserable and made him feel trapped. It was totally unhealthy and it ended poorly.

I used to cling to yoga this way. When I say “used to” I mean…like…a month ago.

I’ve been on a forced yoga hiatus and I have to say, it’s been wonderful for me.

The reason I clung so tightly – to both the boyfriend and the yoga – was that I didn’t trust that they would always really be there for me. I worried that they would reject me, or maybe I would be the one to get bored and need something new. I was hanging on for dear life in an attempt to keep things status quo.

But it seems that I’ve grown up a little and learned some things. Things like:

“You only lose what you cling to.” ~Buddha

This break from Bikram class has allowed me to step back and create a more healthy relationship with yoga. There is no need to cling. I can hold it softly, lightly, without crushing it. I can take a break without threatening the survival of my yoga.

It is intertwined into every part of my life, it is a part of me and always will be. There is no need to prove to anyone that I’m a yogi – I don’t even need to prove it to myself. I can trust it. I can relax.

Because yoga is about so much more than just asana practice. It is the way I live my life. It’s the 8 Limbs. It’s pranayama and ahimsa and meditation. It’s what I choose to eat and the way I choose to see the world. It’s all yoga.

I’m glad to be back to the asana practice after my hiatus. I missed it and I missed my yogi community. Walking into that hot room after 3 weeks away felt like a big giant hug. My practice is not as strong as it was before I took the break but that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. My relationship with the yoga is different. It’s deeper. More settled. There is a stillness and a security that is new. This is no fling; we’re in it for the long haul.

For richer or poorer.

In sickness and in health.

Until death do us part.

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