Today felt like a homecoming to me. 6am yoga with Ang and the morning yogis. I, who had not been to yoga for 5 months, returned.  I want to share with you the information I have gleaned by NOT practicing on my mat because every millimeter of my body rejoiced today for what it was missing… for what the practice of yoga does for my entire life.

My hiatus from yoga was not chosen but a result of a busy life to which many of you can relate.  I teach art.  I started teaching an extra studio class and my yoga practice fell apart. I kept doing cardio and lifting weights but extra inches still appeared around my waist. Sure, we all eat a bit more when we do not have a bikini in the mix but it was more than that. My body was not used to processing stress and anxiety without yoga. No amount of sugar detoxing could fix this.

I remember starting my year on January 1 in yoga class with Sarah. I had no idea that the first day of 2015 would be the last day of yoga for the next 5 months. Fast forward to today. The semester is over. I had learned yet again a little more about managing my work so that my children always could be at the center of my devotion, without taking away yoga.

These past five months has shown me that I cannot be without yoga. I used to run six miles a day.  I can be without running. My knees are grateful. I can walk fast and sprint. I can swing a kettlebell… But yoga. Yoga is timeless. Yoga never asks me to be more than I can handle, more than I can breathe through. Yoga never becomes an emotional bypass. Yoga is strong but gentle… no matter how hot the room or how demanding the order of postures. Yoga is how I need to be in life. Breathing though the loving and living, of success and disappointment, of being patient, and of being present.

I often think about the virtues that I hope to emulate in my life and find that I can practice them on the mat with my inner self and my center of the universe in a very special way during yoga. When things get crazy in life, which they do for everyone, we tend to be hard on ourselves. In those moments of partaking in unloving thoughts or actions towards myself, I cannot be the loving woman that I am meant to be in this world. Just like I would practice painting so that I can continue to become the artist I am meant to be, I practice yoga to stretch my body. Stretch it to the point where there is an openness, a quiet space where I can truly listen to the pulse of the great wave of love inside of me and inside of all of us. As a woman who meditates regularly, the physical movement paired with breathing and presence is not comparable to anything. It is yoga. It is union and oneness.

When I came back today, I was worried that I would not be at the point where I left off. Could I still bind? Could I kick my leg up during bridge? Would a crescent lunge with a back bend do me in? There is no need to answer these questions since all of that anxiety fell away once I was on my mat and could hear everyone breathing.

To close, I would miss yoga no matter what but to miss yoga at Sol is another whole kind of displacement. I feel connected to the people who practice at Sol whether I know them personally or not. I look forward to hearing Ang laughingly say “smile” as I am twisted in a posture that I think I cannot manage for another second. I enjoy hearing the clanging of Alexis’s million silver bracelets as she shows an example of a pose she’s humbly learning with us. I desire to be tricked into major ab routines by Becky or Sarah. I will never hold crescent lunge the same way due to Kelly’s careful instruction and I will someday do a handstand with Kristin. I do still believe in sugar detoxes thanks to Laury. And to Jackie, Jan, Jenna, Ed, Megan, Kerry, Michelle, Eric, Kate, Sarah, Jackie, Kori… I’ve had class with all of you. You are what makes Sol different from any other studio. Thank you.

An anonymous and grateful Sol yogi

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