I promise, my fitness routine consists of activity aside from yoga…but yoga has been a huge part of my life, especially lately.
On November 28th, I started a personal challenge to practice yoga on a daily basis until I can complete a teacher training course (ideally, through Kula Yoga this summer). In this process, my practice has transformed from a physical competition with myself to a mindful practice of breathing and staying present.
I’m an existentialist and idealist at heart, but also a realist (I have that dichotomous liberty, I’m a Libra for crying out loud). In December, Kula hosted a 30-day meditation challenge, and with attention issues, I decided that if I can’t get my meditation in outside the studio, I’ll at least practice it on the mat. That mindfulness has transformed my practice, and once I stopped giving a damn about the postures, things just started to *happen* with my body.
Over my Christmas vacation, I focused on conditioning my body with multiple workouts a day, pushing myself physically and mentally further than I have thus far (and that’s saying something, I’ve transformed my body over the past three years). When finding that threshold, that edge, there’s a fine line between what I can do and what’s too far. Sometimes we hold back, sometimes we go too far. Either way, there’s so much to learn.
What I’m learning is that the things we talk about and the energies discussed aren’t just fancy words or hocus pocus bullshit. This stuff is real, and it’s happening in my practice, and in my LIFE. Yoga’s influencing so many facets of my life, and learning to take the lessons we pick up on the mat are applicable off the mat as well. That’s WHY we practice!
And this is where things start getting a bit…out there.
I absolutely love starting my day with a 5:30AM practice, and though I love ALL the classes, this one has become a necessity. A dear friend and fellow yogi got me up early enough to attend this class a few times and then it just became habit. Over my vacation, I was up every morning at 5:00AM to get to the studio for the 5:30AM Sunrise Flow class.
The class is so damn early and I have no time to think, and I just *do*. I’ve come into more postures in this class than any other, so when mental things started happening, it really should not have come as a surprise.
It all started with the color yellow.
Sometimes after an especially physical practice (like Hip Hop Glow or Detox Flow), my third eye will open clearly and I see luminous, brilliant, pure white light. That’s happened a few times, and then, I started seeing colors, starting with yellow. As I go through this life transition of embarking on my personal legend (I totally stole that phrase from my favorite book, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho), I am finding my own personal power (the topic of my last post) and understanding that not only do I believe in myself, but it’s truly just a matter of time before I manifest all the things I want and what I want to do with my life. I had a realization that instead of work for my life, I want my life to work for me. I am pursuing that with focus, vision, and a commitment to excellence.
Then, I started a 24-Day Challenge with my fitness and nutrition coach last Wednesday. I felt great when I did Sunrise Yoga that morning, but as I was readying for the day, I was having troubles breathing. By taking the day off, I wanted to focus on the root of my breathing issue (anxiety). I took Kim’s 9AM Vin/Yin class, and it pretty much healed my life.
As we were finishing our Yin and about to hit svasana, I had this overwhelming feeling like I was about to burst into sobs, and then this image of orange dust shooting out of my lungs hit just as this cough/sneeze escaped me. When that happened, I felt like all the shit in my body and mind had come out and that RIGHT NOW everything I want is going to happen.
Speaking with folks who know about these chakra colors and stuff, I was instructed to focus on the next chakra, the Red Chakra, which is the Root Chakra. Unintentionally, I wore red to the following class, which was last night’s Yin.
When I walked into the studio, it was already full with mats (which I LOVE! Full classes make me SO happy, great sharing our practice with so many folks!), and I found a spot near the instructor, close to my friend Mecca, and nearby another instructor. Mecca and I shared a hug, and we spoke about my experiences with the chakras that I had shared in our yoga group on Facebook. I felt our energies and it was so strong, and almost overwhelming to the point of me wanting to come out. Mecca held me further and I let him let me go when it was time. I’m learning more about not being the first to let go of a hug, I know why I’m insecure about being hugged but I’m getting past it (or at least learning to just go with it and allow people to embrace me). After, I said to him, “doing yoga and things that heal us bring us close to people going through the same experience, and though it won’t quite heal a broken heart, it brings the pieces closer together.”
We don’t quite “get over” the things that have happened in our lives. We could go into this whole discussion about God and free will and why things happen the way they do. Simply put, shit happens. That’s life. God’s the hand we reach for when we need to find the Light again and rise up. I say God is Good, just without the extra O because He is omnipotent and doesn’t need the redundant letter 🙂
Back to last night’s Yin – so we went into a Camel pose toward the end of the practice, and Camel and backbends are definitely my forte (which is odd because I was formerly disabled from a spinal injury). However, we held that bitch for like 15 breaths, and usually 5 breaths is pushing it. The longer we held it, the further I went into it, and the further I went, holy shit the more stuff was happening.
My mind went totally clear, and I saw a black canvass. Then, I saw my body, standing, palms out, and I saw all of my blood vessels, and my heart was beating red, radiating energy into and all around me. Tendrils became roots, and roots dissipated into smoke, and there was an aura of red all around and radiating from me.
I’ve needed rooting, it’s helping me stay calm and focused. I KNOW things are happening and it’s only a matter of time before I get precisely everything I want (I mean hell, it’s already happening). However, at this time, my ass needs some SERIOUS grounding. Though I have one foot firmly placed in reality, deeply rooted and grounding me, the other foot is out in who knows where, dancing and flailing about. While it’s good and well to be curious and continually explore, I admittedly have been distracted from my primary objective.
Now is the perfect time to focus.
Once I started taking better care of myself, I was amazed what and whom was coming into my life. Then, I started making lists of what I want, and as I continued to improve my life, better things kept coming in.
As I continue this practice of self-love, it teaches me further Truth when it comes to love. Love is infinitely abundant, it’s all good, all the time, because the Source is pure. True love means unconditional love, no attachment or expectations, and given for the sake of giving. It recognizes that infinite good within us all. We are all stemmed from life itself, a gift and a blessing, and even if someone acts like total bag of dicks, we can at least recognize the Light of good within that person.
A friend asked me earlier, “how do you tolerate fake people?” and my response to her was the same that I wrote above – by recognizing that we are all created by God (pick your name/definition/identity; I see God as the One Love, the ultimate Good, all Light and the Source), and that we live with that spirit within us always. God is a living entity. He comes out when we do good, when we are around good, and *especially* when we need a Light in dark times.
This post surely has gone on long enough, and the root of the matter is this – real things are happening, and it’s not just theory and visualizing anymore. It’s now about opening my mind, heart, and body for the possibilities that are presenting themselves now, and like any opportunity, hard work and luck have converged to make this happen.
I’m so excited about the future, and to discover further what staying rooted will bring me. Once an old friend shared with me something imparted to her before she was getting ready to go to college: we are given roots and wings. Our roots keep us strongly grounded, and our wings give us the ability to go out into the world, discover, explore, and contribute.
I believe one of the greatest lessons in life is learning how to stay humble and remember where we come from as we embark on our own personal legend. We all come from somewhere; it has molded us into the people we are. Always remember that. We cannot escape it and we can never get past it, nor do we ever get over it. We learn to live with it (roots) and it gives us strength to share and grow with others (wings).
My heart is strong the way that proud flesh is – something stronger forms in the healing process, and my heart is incredibly strong. That’s why I’m able to be so damn open. Sure it still hurts sometimes and every now and then, like an old injury in cold weather, I feel a sting from the past. However, I rise again; I always rise. I trust the strength of my heart, as it has gotten me this far, has been a trustworthy guide, and even with the ups and downs and investing in some fruitless endeavors, in the end I’ve always come out stronger, wiser, and better prepared for the next adventure.
The love and strength in my heart will keep me here, keep me grounded here on this Earth. My roots keep me real, and my wings will bring me further closer to my dreams.
May your wings spread widely and take you to great heights, and may your roots bring you home where your heart truly belongs.