Yoga: Keep Coming Back
You want to take your first yoga class; you're scared, excited and nervous all in one. You've heard for years that yoga is good for you. It reduces stress, and your back really hurts so your doctor said you better get stretching or you're looking at some serious problems down the road.
You wonder: "Now, how do I walk in the door? They all know what they're doing, and I know nothing! What will people think of me? EEEEK. I don't want to look silly or dumb." OR "It's for women." Or other insecure statements that prevent you from just walking into class.
So six months go by as you continually drive by the studio, peering into the windows, trying to work up the nerve to go. And by this time, you're practically limping, not getting any sleep, your anger is out of control, and you are, too.
You know it's time. So you park your car and sit and wait until it seems safe to walk in without too many people in the lobby. You fill out your new student form while the calm, friendly, welcoming desk staff person introduces you to Peace. You're still nervous, but the energy in the space is already calming you down - you don't really know how, but it is!
Perhaps you take your first class and have a major ah-ha moment that Oh my God I need this so bad, or the other, your ego is on guard and the verdict is still out; your'e not quite sure yet about this hippy-dippy new age thing.
"It can't help meâ€¦ it can't possibly calm my mind or help me sit still. Are you crazy? I'm for sure a yoga flunky." Or, "This is too much feeling for me, I'm outta here!"
Keep coming back.
You're not a flunky. It's going to be okâ€¦â€¦. Actually, it's going to be life-changing.
I've been living a yogic lifestyle for almost 20 years now. I have found it a fascinating, multi-layered journey that continues to unfold deeper and deeper every year.
And having been a yoga studio owner now for almost 11 years, I've watched many a student come and go. Some cycle in and out due to life, health, or other reasons. I'm so glad we are here for them when they need us.
At Karma Yoga, there has always been a strong core of regular students. For them, and for us, yoga IS a lifestyle. And then there are many students who come for a very short time and don't seem to return.
What's that about? Did something not click for them? It's an interesting subject to ponder. It got me thinking, what is the process of yoga and how does it typically unfold? Yoga is not what most people think; it didn't turn out to be what I thought it was in the beginning, either!
First of all, Yoga means to yoke, union. It's the union of our human self with your Higher Self. This can take time and patience and most of all a regular practice, and we have a lot to do before we can even get there. Keep coming back. Yoga is a strong discipline and commitment to YOU and your soul.
Of course at first I wasn't thinking that and neither are most people when they walk in the door.
When you first get on a mat, you are meeting your body again, usually for the first time in many years. We mostly live a super busy lifestyle of running around, over-working, doing for others and forgetting to take care of ourselves.
A lot of students don't come back after their first class because it can even feel selfish for them to take one hour for themselves. Yikes.
Keep coming backâ€¦.. it takes time to de-program years or even centuries of generational programming mentally, emotionally and physically. It takes time to release years of stress, patterning, traumas and dysfunction. Coming to yoga is like unwinding a big ball of yarn back to the very first strand.
Trust me. You WILL feel shifts immediately like smiling more, sleeping better, being less reactive, a new sweetness to your voice and actually being pleasant to be around! Ha!
Yoga ebbs and flows just like lifeâ€¦.. it's a practice, not perfection. As you dig and excavate through the layers of YOU, mentally, physically and emotionally, it will be easier some days than others. Keep coming back.
Some days I don't feel like doing my personal practice but like brushing my teeth, if I want to keep my mind healthy, I do it anyway! There is no choice. I know the outcome is so worth it. I will not give up my serenity anymore to no one, no how, no way.
So when it feels uncomfortable or you feel a slump or indescribable ecstasy you keep up. You just keep coming back no matter what. You don't practice yoga for the experience so much but for what it brings to your life.
When you keep up, you'll be kept up. Don't give up on your Self. You're worth it.