Cheating on my yoga to find my truth.

Trying to define yoga is like trying to catch a shadow, it’s vague and allusive but it is also very personal.  Being such a visual culture most Westerners look at yoga as bendy people that get that way from stretching (thanks to 1960’s TV shows that had women in leotards introduce yoga to us).  This is how most see it but to others, that is only a small part of the story.  To others, it is the spiritual path that brings a person to a state of being completely present and the experience of being part of the fabric of life.  We are all connected despite how isolated we perceive our lives to be.

To many people, yoga is truly an intense workout that makes them feel good through the detoxifying sweat.  There are these people that respond well to critism (Bikram).  I found that Catholics like Bikram.  Maybe it is the guilt they respond to when the instructor bluntly tells them they won’t get anywhere unless they practice regularly.  That’s so not my speed even though I did dabble in it for a short period.  I also most recently was doing Power Yoga under the Baron Baptiste family of trainers.  It’s spiritually….vague, if that is the right word.  The instructors are pushing the poses in the heated room, the quadriceps are burning and abs are worked.  You start and finish with Namaste and a Om or three.

I had not been back to my Power Yoga studio since last winter.  I was going because I loved the heat and sweat in the studio during cold Connecticut days and the instructors are really nice, thoughtful people.   I went back to that studio last night due to the convenience of it and really because I’ve missed it.  But what I realized is that it wasn’t as spiritual or as in depth as I like my yoga to be.  Now, this is totally my own perspective and what I am interested in at this point of my life.  But it found myself missing the yoga at Saraswati.  The yoga where I find myself pushing my limits and turning my poses into a juicy dance.  The poses where I find my grace.  I left the Power Yoga soaked with sweat and I felt calm like I would after a great run but I didn’t feel the bliss.  I didn’t feel the grace.  I didn’t feel myself fly. 

I could be dissappointed by this experience since I did spent 90 minutes of my life there and not at Saraswati but I found that I’m really glad I did this.  I found a little more conviction in and owning of my truth and that is something we each could use in our lives.

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