You might be surprised to hear this coming from a yoga teacher and studio owner, but I haven’t practiced yoga in MONTHS. I’m still so surprised it happened: this inescapable need to disconnect with my practice.
After months of problem-solving and near constant work on Covid-related changes to the studio and my own teaching, even with a limited live teaching schedule, I was burned out and, honestly, a little bit broken. It was hard to even look at a yoga mat, let alone practice on one.
For so many years of my life, yoga has been my place to come home. To rest, reset, clear my head, and find some time for presence. It has been my backbone, my homecoming, and in many cases – the only way I could get myself out of a terrible state of sadness, anger, or scattered mom brain.
Yoga has helped me through medical emergencies, the dark nights of postpartum depression, and years of family strife and uncertainty. It has helped me find strength when I felt weak. Purpose when I felt lost. Community when I felt alone.
All of that is to say, for me to lose yoga, and harbor some resentment and fear around my own practice, it sent my body into quite a state. And so yesterday, when I stepped back on my mat for the first time in forever, I felt stiff. I felt sore. I felt like a beginner again.
The feeling reminded me so much of my first moments on my mat, wondering what I could do (if I could do anything at all!). And I can see now what it takes to get me back there again. It is not “I should exercise” or “I am supposed to do yoga”. Those thoughts do nothing to get me on the mat. In fact, that kind of self-shame (that I do so much) usually pushes me farther away.
The one thing that brings me back to yoga again and again is COMMUNITY. Even when I’m home… even when I’m practicing on my own… even when I roll out the mat for 5 minutes… even then, I can feel my yoga community here with me. I can close my eyes and feel the spaciousness of the practice room. I can hear the voices and queues of my teachers. I can feel the community of practicing in close proximity to other people.
I feel the joy of surprising options, like when the teacher adds in a long savasana or challenges us to balance for longer than we thought we could. I feel the smiles on the corner of my mouth when someone next to me lands a pose for the first time.
You see, even when you’re at home. Even when you’re the only one in the room. You’re never alone in yoga. Voices, memories, friends, and nameless yogi companions – they’re all there with you. And that makes my heart so happy.
So today, I became a beginner again. And yet, here I am in community with so many people. Moving. Breathing. Beginning again. All in the space of my mat, squeezed in between furniture, in the small space of my living room floor. I feel home again.
This month Be the Love is unveiling our Welcome Mat Program.
It’s 8-weeks of “get to know you”, filled with:
And short talks on topics that are pressing for anyone new to any studio: who are the teachers, how do I start yoga, how do I do this whole virtual yoga thing, and so much more.
Plus, you get to meet other people new to Be the Love, and make friends (virtually), so you have people to catch up with at the beginning of class. It’s a chance to build your own yoga community. And do so with ease and joy.