I am a yoga teacher, and I am human.
My journey into silence...
Sit STILL. Don't TALK. Don't THINK. Basically don't do ANYTHING.
These are the first words I heard during my first class. The teacher might have stated it a little more gently, something like, "Come into the space and quiet the mind. Become one with your breath."
In that statement I heard expectation, pressure and fear. I can't be still and I'm already thinking about my grocery list! I'm fucked! I should just leave now I thought. But I stayed, luckily my curiosity outweighed my fear.
The class progressed and I slowly became more comfortable. Loud music was turned on and my grocery list started to fade. The pace quickened and I started to sweat. The flow was almost hypnotizing. Before I knew it the class was over. I was laying in a puddle of my own sweat, my body tired but awakened, and my mind was empty. In that moment I got it. The movement was my stillness, the music was my silence, and the vigor was my don't do anything. I was hooked.
I started practicing Yoga regularly when I was attending school in New York City. Growing up in Sun Valley, Idaho I was used to the mountains, relaxed paces, and open spaces. The city made me feel anxious, scared, and almost exhausted. I was craving quiet. I was in need of space and hungry for a deeper connection. Once I started flow classes at Kula Yoga I was sold. It was my medicine, my drug, and Yoga quickly became my spiritual practice.
The same year I began teaching I also gave birth to a son. His name is Jack. He is now 5 years old, and Jack has Autism. I love the life lessons we are given. I mean really? How pertinent. Yoga was literally delivered to me in this child. Every moment was my teaching. At first, I felt that same anxiety, fear and exhaustion that I did in New York City. I felt as though I couldn't handle this. More importantly, how was he supposed to handle this? Deep down though I knew that this was the most beautiful teaching I would ever receive.
Yoga has taught me that not only do we get what we can handle, but we also get what we NEED. I need Jack, and his daily reminders, just as much as he needs me. I need my Yoga. I need my meditation and my music. I need to sweat, and move, and I need to lay still. I need my green juice and my wine. I need balance. We all need balance. I had to learn that stillness and movement weren't two separate things but rather that they co-exist.
Thank you Yoga.