I usually compare my yoga practice to a variety of experiences: a chiropractic adjustment, psychotherapy session, meditation, and often describe it as a religious experience. Last Sunday when attending a church service, the minister also described her yoga practice in the same way.
I was raised in the Catholic faith, my children attend Catholic School. Throughout my life I explore other religions and often attend services of different faiths: Quaker, Judaism, Russian Orthodox, Baptist, and find so much wisdom in Buddhism.
For me, religion is something that I personally need to enrich my life. There is a comfort in knowing there is something greater than me, somewhere I can go, when life is overwhelming. My yoga practice is also that place. My yoga mat becomes my temple, my cathedral. It’s where I can bring my failures, my sins, my negative thoughts and let them melt away. I am surrounded by other beautiful souls, all flawed like me, but all finding the time and space to heal themselves, to forgive themselves. They are the angels, the congregation. The Bible say the singing is 7 times prayer. I feel yoga has a similar power, even if the practice is silent. The community of yogi angels, provide a support. They are kind, generous, positive people that make my life better. We breathe together, we struggle together, we search for peace together.
When I attend a church service, I often cry. The tears are for loved one who have died, for the mistakes I have made. But it allows me to have a release, a safe space to allow my humanness to simply be, and I leave feeling renewed. The same thing happens to me in the yoga room. I often enter with the weight of the world on my shoulders, I am a single mother, work mostly as an artist. I worry about my children and providing for them, and finding success as an artist. There is enormous pressure I put on myself to be the best I can be.
Yoga allows me simply to be. I guess it helps me restore faith in myself. It’s very easy to not believe in yourself, to blame yourself and others for things in your life. My yoga practice helps me find the solutions to problems. It teaches me to learn to see the problems as gifts. If I feel pain or suffering, that means I am alive. Yoga teaches me to not judge or compare myself to others.
So next time you enter the yoga room, enter with respect, in silence. Remember others may also be struggling with life’s frustrations. We are there in that yoga room to learn to find patience with ourselves and others. To be healthier, to heal physical and emotional pain. Its really is kind of a miracle what my yoga practice gives to me. I hope you find a little miracle yourself!
Amen and Namaste