After about three months of studio hopping, I’ve found my way back home. Back to my “home” yoga studio, and my home sweet home. Once the fam cleared the way, I rolled out my mat in the living room, and said –Hello, home yoga practice! Having the freedom to do exactly as my body wanted while intentionally moving towards a fuller self expression was exactly what I needed. It opened my (third?) eye in a whole new light!
I could see how my same old behavior takes me to the same old place. I always start my practice with Surya Namaskar into Warrior 1 and Warrior 2. Then I’ll go into Trikonasana and Parsvottanasana. I could continue on with the sequence here (seriously, it’s been done to death — I can both say it and do it by rote), but that would be a bore. The bottom line –it works. But it’s also a bit of been there done that, right? Isn’t it much more interesting to use our experience as a foundation for growth? To explore the unknown? So instead of starting out with my usual Surya Namaskar blah blah blah, why not jump straight into an inversion practice? Maybe it’s Bakasana to tripod headstand that starts the sequence? The key is to move with my body’s intuition, and stay present to move consciously where I need to be. Somewhat simple to do on the mat. Off the mat — a whole other story!
I like the path of familiarity. It’s comfortable, it’s pretty obvious and I know where it leads. I’ve gone down that path so many times. It’s like a good friend, albeit one who isn’t really looking out for me. The other path, the one that’s aligned with my soul, gives me flutters in the stomach when it shows its way. I feel uncertain. A little scared. And excited!
See we’ve all got our unique path — the one that’s just right for who we are. Mine looks different than yours. Though sometimes I wish mine could look like hers. I know (my soul knows!) what my true path looks like. And with the help of yoga, my intuition and all the other signs that show the way, I’ll move forward on this path…hopefully every day.
What signs show you the way on your true path?
I love this! I didn’t appreciate my home yoga practice until I was away from home for three weeks doing yoga teacher training. When I did get back home I was happy to find that new poses began to find their way into my familiar practice. Today I still go back to my foundation (very similar to yours) and every now and then I’ll be guided to an unfamiliar place and I go willingly.
Isn’t it great that something as simple (and thin) as a yoga mat could be a springboard for a whole life? Isn’t there also something wonderful about the many paths available to us, each equally capable of propelling us into fully living?
Thanks for this thoughtful and inspiring post.
TT, Thanks so much for another engaging and inspiring post. You remind me of the constant struggle to find the ” “right” balance between comfort, which has a lot to be said for it, and questing, which is also essential to vitality and meaning in our lives. I admit, I spend a lot of (too much?) time questioning assumptions, including the path of comfort. I’m with you on the signs of being on the soul’s true path of discovery and growth: stomach flutters, fear, and definitely the thrilling and jubilant sense of “what if I could actually DO or BE that?!” Peace and joy to you, my questing friend. Xoxo
Mary Kathryn, I love how you refer to the foundation — that’s exactly what it is — a foundation for growth! Sounds like you’ve figured out a nice way to balance the unfamiliar with your foundation. Thanks for your insight!
Wow, thank YOU for your thoughtful and inspiring comment! What an awesome way to think of that simple (& thin) mat– I can’t wait to get back onto that springboard!
ST, I think you hit it on the nose when you say finding the right balance….isn’t that really the key to most things? And to know what’s “right” for you? Thank you for your thoughtfulness and support which also help keep me moving along the “right” path. xoxo
I think I am in want of a hip opener, maybe pigeon pose.
My body ALWAYS wants pigeon pose!
I secretly started doing yoga at home when I was 15. It was out of a book I found in the library. So, off and on for fifteen years my only yoga practice was at home. Sometimes it was to DVD’s like Shiva Rea in my living room and sometimes it was out of a book or my own head. And I loved it.
But then having a kid and a dog and a messy house…it’s hard for me to focus on doing yoga in my own home (at least a regular practice that’s more than a drop into pigeon pose (love that pose, can’t get enough!) or a little child’s pose now and then…it’s like when I was in school and found deep cleaning the freezer more important in the moment than doing my term papers. HA!
So now I’m loving the studio practice, going several times a week. But I do miss the solitude and doing it by myself in my house to my own pace.
monk-monk, It’s so great to hear from you! I too was (and still am!) the type of person who finds deep cleaning the freezer more important at the time. In fact, that’s usually when my apartment gets cleaned….right as I lay down the mat to do yoga. So I like to mix it up– in the studio and at home. I think they both serve their own purpose and both benefit beyond words. One thing I find really gratifying in my home practice right now is the freedom…I can make that practice look however I choose. And of course, learning from an instructor in the studio is something I hope to always participate in. I remember you gifted yourself a year of yoga…I find that when I pay for a month, or however long unlimited..It’s a lot easier to get myself into the studio. And I completely understand the mess and chaos that goes on at home! Cheers
There’s so much i love about this post… juggling the comfortable with the uncomfortable, familiarity with discovery, following the body’s intuition, listening to one’s unique path… good, juicy stuff! Thank you for writing it 🙂