Yoga saved me. Through the practice of Yoga, I found peace where there had been inner violence, silence where there had been chaos, balance where there had been insecurity, self acceptance where there had been self hatred, and presence where there had been an unknowing absence. Some might call it God, some might call it inner wisdom, but to me it was Yoga. And Yoga saved me from myself.
A deep unconscious understanding of the Yogic path always lingered at the core of my heart, a tiny seed that loafed there for years, waiting patiently for me to uncover it, to unmuddle the dirt that was smothering it. It rested there, just waiting for the day that I would sift through the debris and reunite with the ancient practice that knew me the way an unborn baby’s soul knows his mother long before he is conceived. There it was – inside me all those years, surreptitiously guiding me through the trauma of childhood and the anguish of adolescence.
I remember the day that I finally untangled the weeds that had grown on top of it. I was 19, standing before a pool. Such a seemingly mundane moment, yet there I was, fully experiencing the depth of the blue sky, the taste of wild blueberries on my tongue, the smell of chlorine permeating my nostrils, as though I was experiencing the vibrancy of summer for the first time in my life. In that moment, I had been life, and the seeds of Yoga were watered.
From then on, for nineteen years, I have stretched, balanced, breathed, and pushed my body and mind – sometimes kicking and screaming in resistance – into stillness. When I became a teacher, I woke up at 4:30 am to practice, and when people asked me why and how I could wake up so early to practice Yoga for an hour and a half every single day, I wondered in return, how could you not? How can you feel balanced, flexible, and rooted through the craziness of this world without it? When I had children, time and energy became luxuries, and on many days, loving my children is my Yoga practice, my meditation, my prayer.
But no matter what, no matter how busy or pre-occupied with life, I know that if I don’t find my way back to my mat, then stress, self-doubt, and imbalance sneak back in. Every day, despite motherhood and work, I have to find some time to inhale and be fully present, to bend my body, quiet my mind, and soothe my soul.
To the practice that saved me, to my Yoga teachers through the years, to great Yogic philosophers, to my Indian roots, and to my own inner wisdom that I’ve been able to discover through Yoga, thank you.