Yoga continues to heal my life each day. It’s why even after fifteen years on the mat, I still show up for myself and bend, lift, invert, stretch, and sweat. And, why I’ll be on the mat when I’m ninety-five and wrinkly as hell, but probably able to still put my leg behind my head.
This year my practice has evolved in a ga-jillion ways. I’m no longer looking for my practice to prove anything about me. I think I did that in the past. If I could bend the deepest and lift the highest, it said I was “good” somehow.
Instead, my yoga practice is just an expression of who I am in the moment with a mixture of what I’ve learned along the way. It also expresses the freedom to be this person without editing anything down to look “perfect” or to not be “too much.”
My time on my mat is a process of burning up the person I was yesterday – all of her thoughts and fears, her insecurities, and issues – so that I can show up as who I want to be today. Because, it’s always a choice.
I can stay stuck.
I can hold onto thoughts of limitations, or relationships that really weren’t that positive, or staying in the box that others want me to stay in. But, if I’m going to help anyone else get here – to this place of self-acceptance (which is awesome by the way) – I’m-a going to have be as unstuck as possible.
My yoga practice has healed my eating disorder, perfection addiction, people pleasing needs, my hamstring tendonitis, the once chronic pain in my left hip, the need to be right all of the time, my judging nature, and the need to be anyone else, but who I already am.
But, this year – year fifteen – the gift it’s given me, is the best one yet.
I’m no longer looking for anyone else to be other than they already are.
Because I think that’s where the disconnect is with the people in our lives. We want them to be someone else, or do something other than what they did, or think differently than they do. But, they don’t. Should we love them any less?
I’m not gonna.
Here’s the thing, we often romanticize reincarnation.
We think that if there is such a thing as past lives than those lives are in the past. But, what if they’re not?
What if you come back down here after this life Is over as your sister? Or, your boss? Or, your crazy neighbor? And, you got to experience their life?
I think about this a lot. There’s only one of us here if that’s true. So, being kind can be completely selfish because when you are – you’re just being kind to someone that might be you next time around.
Kind of cool if you think about it. And, super woo-woo. But, I think it’s one of the best woo-woo thoughts out there right now, don’t you?
So, if you’re not there yet with your yoga practice – in this place of acceptance with yourself and with others – keep going. And, keep going even after you get there so you can stay there and inhabit that space for those you come in contact with.
It’s some of the best work you can do while you’re here in this body and in this life. Just by stepping on your mat and working for something new each day, you are doing your part to heal not only yourself, but the world.
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Tori Hicks-Glogowski is an online yoga instructor and yoga business coach and mentor for yoga teachers. She is the author of the book, "Views from the Podium: The Life & Times of a Hot Yogi," and has been writing and sharing her yoga experience for the past seven years. Find out more about Tori now.