Calling Our Spirits Home

Do you remember when you believed you could do anything?

Ardha Chandrasana: Early Half-Moon in roller skates.

When you didn't worry about hitting the ground? When the world was your prop?

That is me up there. Even now, I recognize my spirit in this picture. Strawberry Shortcake socks to my knees, Smurf skates, and a nightgown (hello,1983). I am sure that I was putting on a show or singing or dancing - likely all three and maybe to no specific audience. I clearly didn't care who was watching. I was wearing those items because I loved them and moving my body in a way that reflected my joy.

(As a quick side note to all of my yoga teachers - this picture is irrefutable evidence that those hamstrings have, in fact, been tight for almost 30 years.)

When we are young, we have an amazing connection of mind, body, and spirit. We are honest and eager humans. We soak up everything in our world and we are not in the habit of looking before we leap. If we stumble, we fall. We cry a little and laugh. We get back up. Or we hang on to a Little Tikes playhouse and pretend it was all part of the original plan.

Perhaps it is the true cost of the age of reason that we start to disconnect and withdraw from this sponge-like experience of the world. Our brains rewire around the very harsh realities of growing up: changing bodies, fitting molds, experiencing fear, and acknowledging our own mortality.

We push out the unity - the connections we are born with start to break down. We see our body, our mind, and our soul as disparate parts of a whole.

Yoga can slowly weave those connections back.

I have been struck over these past two weekends of training at how physical this process is for me right now. It is not just the mindfulness that brings me back - my body needs to be part of this story.

As a result of the intense, deeply personal learning that we are doing, I have found that trusting my body is a new path to opening up more of this connection.

When I physically let myself go to find - instead of force - the pose, I feel my muscles fire and feel the grounding that is happening around the emotional edges. It is still a learning process to use my mind to help this process, not hinder it, but the sparks are there.

I am also trying to find a stronger boundary in speaking my personal truth. It sounds odd, but the more I do this- the less restricted I feel and the easier it is to breathe. 

When yoga is translated from sanskrit - the foundational meaning is "to unite."

This practice is crazy and wonderful at the same time.

This process of growing on the mat is really calling our spirits home into our bodies.

If the girl in the smurf skates can do it, I am quite certain that the woman she became can figure it out, too.