One of my favorite aspects of yoga is that it teaches us balance. Between the light and dark, excess and lack, movement and stillness; in this respect I find it is very similar to Taoism. I was introduced to Taoism and Tai Chi when I was in high school by my theater arts teacher. I remember, like it happened today, we would start many of our practical classes with a meditation where we all were lying on the floor and our teacher would guide us through some breathing exercises and mental visualizations. We also practiced several Tai Chi poses in class. The whole idea was that we needed a calm and focused demeanor to be good actors and theater professionals.
I cannot recall my first yoga class. I am not sure when it was. I went to a few here and there during high school or perhaps I just read about it. The memory of my first studio experiences is not clear. Since I spent over five years taking juggling and circus arts pretty seriously many of the people were either yoga teachers or acrobats so I guess that is where my love for yoga began.
I had some incredibly difficult experiences in 2005 that challenged me to the very core of my being. I found a true friend and soul brother who was nice enough to bring me to his dad's house and they let me stay in his sister's room for a few weeks while I was waiting to go back to London after this vacation turned nightmare. I felt so lost and confused. So many testing circumstances had occurred; I had faced some major demons from my childhood. For the first time ever I stood up for myself. Once my friend and his father graced me with the space, I found an incredible Craniosacral therapist to exchange services with me: I painted her kitchen and got 2 full treatments out of it. This was a very deep healing time from traumatic wounds I was only vaguely aware of up to that point. I began doing yoga for at least 45 mins a day in the morning and the evening. I spent two weeks in that habit.
This was my birth into yoga.
Since then I have done yoga on and off in studios and on my own with friends and teachers. I had never taken it seriously until recently another set of incredibly trying circumstances has lead me full circle back to yoga. This time it has been different. I have walked so many miles since my last experience of connection to yoga that I know now this is my true path.
I just started reading 'Light on Yoga' by B.K.S. Iyengar recently and am taken by the way my mind has instinctively worked into the ideologies of yoga without having formally studied it.
Every day my practice deepens and I am slowly leaving behind all that does not serve my purpose. I have found a new form of strength within the practice and a determination to persist with my physical, mental and spiritual purging of all that separates me from the true guiding light of my soul.
I hope that within my writings you will be able to find inspiration and information that could lead you to select a spiritual discipline that will help you do the same.
Tonight is our weekly Sivananda practice. There is a possibility I might not be able to attend but I am committed to doing the practice even if I am not physically present in the class with my fellow students and our gifted teacher.
Every day there is a new birth. Every day there is a new person I see. This person has always been inside of me. I am at peace and know everything will be exactly the way it is supposed to be.
May the light shine deep within your soul!
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti