I think that this post - or at least the ideas contained in it - are the whole reason I started this blog. Basically I have become obsessed with my yoga practice and I am not really sure what to do about it other than practice my postures more, learn more, and try to practice yoga in my everyday life.
I started taking yoga classes in March 2009. I'm using the word 'taking' because at the time I did not think of it as a practice, but as a class at my gym. I had a great yogini Victoria who was really asking my body to hold postures and use arm strength that was completely foreign to me. I liked the physical workout, so I kept going back. After awhile I became aware that she was teaching my mind and my soul as much as, if not more than, my body.
Yoga, for me, is about presence. Being present in everyday life, in each individual moment. Back when I was 'taking' yoga, Victoria started speaking to us about being present on our mats. About how we needed to quiet our minds and focus on what was happening right there, right then, on our mats. On my mat. She talked about how all of those conversations we were rehashing in our heads were in the past. All the tasks ahead that we were dreading were in the future, and in the present - the right now - we could not do anything about them. Dwelling on the past and the future was wasted energy. This whole thought process was entirely new to me and, really, rather life changing. I mentioned before that I listen to books on tape when I run. Its true, I like the stories, but the main reason I listen to them is to drown out my thoughts. Listening to music doesn't help - my mind just shouts over the songs. Quieting my mind has proven to be a difficult task - a task that I didn't know existed until I began to practice yoga. Now, when I get on my mat, I focus on my breathing. When a thought comes in about something other than what is happening on my mat, I observe it and tell it goodbye. I have started applying this practice to work as well. Tell me, how can you possibly accomplish one task effectively when your mind is trying to focus on five different thoughts? Learning to be present is difficult but worth it.
Along with my super deep yoga thoughts above, I have been trying to expand my yoga practice through knowledge. I read Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga... It was so over my head it is laughable. I am taking a Sanskrit class with this lovely yogini. Mind you, when I first signed on for it, I told people I was taking "sandskirt" class. I am as ignorant as one could be. I had to google it. I still am not sure exactly what I am learning, or why. I am also learning to chant and I feel silly. But it feels right. Which is a good thing - I am certainly not in a rush to learn all there is to yoga - I am being present in my current practice, wherever that may lead.