This week, I started an internship as a speech therapist in an elementary school. This means that my life just got about a million times more hectic. It’s all worth it, but being so busy and being under so much pressure makes yoga all the more important to me. I think of the 90 minutes I get to spend on my yoga mat each morning before work as my therapy, so that I can give therapy to the kids all day.
When I do my practice, I’m not “working out.” Sure, it’s extremely physically demanding and I’ve reaped countless physical benefits from this practice. But that’s not the point. This practice holds a mirror in front of you, allowing you to observe parts of yourself that are hidden deep beneath the surface. I observe my breath, my thoughts, my tension, my habits, my emotions, my attachments. Over time, I work negative habits into positive ones, tension into ease. I’m not sure how I could expect my speech therapy clients to work toward their goals if I’m not working toward goals of my own.
For the past few months, I’ve been attempting to suppress/hide my feelings regarding someone in my life. With everything going on this week, I just couldn’t hold it in any longer. I finally said my truth and I feel relieved. Satya, truthfulness, is one of the Yamas, which are ethical guidelines for how to treat oneself and other beings. The Yamas are the first limb of Ashtanga Yoga, which means 8-limbed path.
After saying my truth, I was able to find some space in Eka Pada Sirsasana. Both of my legs officially will stay behind my head on their own, without me having to hold onto the foot (pictured below.. left side still a little funky). The physical body and the emotional body and deeply connected, so freeing up some space in my emotional body must have signaled my physical body to simply follow suit. The primary series is designed to heal the body, which then allows one to dive deeper in the the spiritual/emotional work that comes with the practice of Ashtanga Yoga. The second series is forcing me to do that work; it’s not always fun, but I think it’s worth it.
More next week…