I do yoga because it makes me feel good. Like damn good. It makes me feel grounded and rooted and present and whole. When I practice yoga I feel closest to being at ease with myself. I won’t say completely at ease with myself because that is a work in progress, but it's the time when I feel most content with who I am. For that reason, I practice.
A practice that permits the doer to feel at peace with their body, their mind and their spirit is profoundly valuable and worthwhile. There are so many things in the world today that cause us to question who we are and what we believe in. We are constantly bombarded with messages about how to act, who to talk to, what to wear, where to go… it’s exhausting and can leave one feeling internally conflicted. That core conflict can make you sick. Really sick. It can make you deliberate your purpose relentlessly. It can make you feel totally lost. Like lost in a corn maze the size of Russia kind of lost.
I’ve been there. Heck, I’m still there a lot of the time. What am I supposed to be doing with my life!? Seriously. That is a question I mentally ask myself more than I’d like to admit..
I think I'm meant to help others, that’s why I’m here. But it’s easy to feel small and incapable of making a difference when you’re but one wave in the ocean. There is so much heartache, coldness and suffering in the world. I end up feeling sick to my stomach knowing it’s all out there and I’m here living comfortably in a free country under a safe roof, with food and clean water and a family that is supportive, loving and connected. I consider that I’m sitting here, one person, in Lac La Biche and there’s so much to do in the world, so much change to make, and I can’t do much. The world really has no idea that I exist. Then I feel guilty. Then I feel ashamed. Then I get angry at myself. Then I’m sad.
I feel detached from my true self. Unable to decipher direction, focus and passion. I allow the issues of the world to permeate my spirit and it breaks me down. It makes me think about what kind of a person I am, if I want and need to be that person and if I could be someone else.
Then, I practice. I roll out my mat and I move intentionally. I feel my way through my practice. A practice that is always different from any other practice because I’m being guided by my breath and my energy. I move through these postures and I think about my alignment, about how my muscles and joints feel in certain positions, I consider what thoughts are entering my head, I become aware of my senses and surroundings and I reflect on the core feelings that surface during my practice. Time passes. And then I realize that during my practice the outside issues fade, even if just temporarily. Those things I’m open to during asana are all rooted in the present. They’re not worries about the past or anxiety about the future. They’re about now, here, this. And I feel better. I feel good. Again, for that reason, I practice.
So, my teaching vision is that. To guide my students through their practice. A practice that makes them feel good. A practice that warrants the opportunity to be present. And knowing that every moment of the time we’re together is and always will be mine and theirs. Yoga is personal. It’s an intimate dance with the self. Asana is merely a tool to connect with what’s inside. When you practice the world is not on your shoulders. The only world that is of concern is your world, your reality, your truth. And here is the absolutely beautiful part – when you practice and embrace your authenticity - your values, your beliefs, your attitude and your actions – you become the best version of yourself and in being the best version of yourself you better the world. You contribute to a happier, healthier, more peaceful universe. When you practice you discover your power and with that power you can and will change the world.
I am one person, here in LLB, attempting to encourage fellow yogis to become the best person they can be by being themselves honestly and fully. My hope is that those yogis then begin to promote self-empowerment to those around them. And then them to the people in their lives. And it goes on and on and on and on.
Yes, I am a single wave in a vast ocean. And you are a wave too. Without waves the water would be stagnant, unmoving, stuck. We change the water just by being. For that reason, I practice.