Happy Yoga Day 2009! Today Yogis around the country and world are celebrating Yoga. This designated day is a day when yogis alike can come together, breathe peace and joyfulness into the world and practice a few asanas (postures). This day for me brings up memories and smiles of what yoga means to me. In 2007, I lost my yoga teacher. She unexpectedly passed away and I was left confused, hurt, and sad. In a way, I abandoned my practice because of the feelings it brought up for me-especially resentment and anger around losing her. Yes, it was sad and I let a crisis get in the way of opportunity and growth. I did grieve, along with my fellow yogis who practiced next to me in her studio.
It took many weeks for me to get enough courage to come to the mat and I recognized in that first sun salutation that I should have gone to my mat first-immediately after I had received the news of her passing. The mat is the place I can come to recharge, gain perspective, and pause in my stimulus-response driven world. Today, I taught a private with a good friend in his living room while the sun peeked through the windows and his dog sat on the couch content. It was truly a peaceful event seeing the movement being led by the breath and the meditation at the beginning and end of the practice. This is peace. This is purpose. This is community.
Yoga Day is not the only day when you have to dedicate a yoga practice to something bigger than yourself and it does not event take a yoga mat to do the practice. In our yoga, we must learn to take it off the mat and into the world. Seane Corn, a world renowned teacher has started a foundation revolving around this concept-combinging yoga, activism, and leadership to create joy and compassion in the world on a global scale.
In this coming week, take it off the mat or try a yoga class for the first time. Start NOW because it is all we have.