“Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves, all those imperfections that we don’t even want to look at." - Pema Chodron
How long have you been on your yoga journey?
For me, it's been about 6 years.
6 years may not seem like a long time, but let me tell you that those 6 years have completely changed the direction of my life.
There is life before Yoga, and there is life after Yoga.
In life before Yoga, I was stumbling along with a box of carne asada fries, a horchata the size of my head, probably drunk, with no sense of self or purpose.
The only thing I looked forward to was homemade Sangria from one of the bars near where I worked, and finishing the next Kdrama. (I haven't lost the Kdrama obsession...)
Then there was Yoga: something to do with my body and with my mind for 30 minutes a day that was not work, was not boredom, and was not planning for the next country/job/weekend.
I didn't know how to be present. Didn't have a clue. Who on Earth cared about the present moment when there were so many things to look forward to?
Then there was yoga.
For 6 years, yoga became my thing. The only thing that mattered to me. But that's a lie. It wasn't "yoga," per se. It was fitness. It was trying to get the body that would make me feel like I was worth something. It was an obsession with losing weight, but in a "healthy" way, sustainable, over the long term. And that worked well. It did. It got me started on a much better path.
I built up my practice every single day (give or take one or two) for 6 years.
Then Covid hit...My routine was destroyed. I finally got my dream of working from home, but then found I had no idea how to juggle my job with my yoga business pursuits when I was sitting at my desk at home.
The long and short of this is that my yoga practice suffered. Greatly. Sometimes I showed up on my mat, sometimes I didn't. Sometimes I was excited to be there, sometimes I forced myself. Half the time it was forgotten altogether, because I had other things to do and my practice took the back seat.
Can you relate?
The reason I'm telling you all of this, is so that you know that even the most dedicated yogi loses their balance sometimes. And you know what is likely to throw someone off balance?
We are all learning how to deal with it and adapt in our own ways.
There is a shadow of fear that has fallen over our planet. It's not necessarily obvious, but it's there.
A wariness in the back of the mind anytime you see someone walking on the road.
A lack of trust.
Division along the lines of beliefs.
It's heavy, this shadow. But maybe only in the corners of your eyes.
So you need to remember to live with compassion. Compassion for others, yes, but compassion for yourself.
You are human, you are learning, you make mistakes, you lose your routine, you eat crap food and drink tequila for breakfast, and then you put your big girl/boy pants on and take your life by the horns once again and start over.
It's a cycle that will happen again and again.
So instead of trying to fight it, I encourage you to support the process, support your growth.
Support it through a practice of self love and yoga.
Because one day you will make it back to your mat. Like I will once I'm done with this email.
You'll make it back and you will be so thankful you did.
This class is for that day. To remind you that you are worth it.
You are glorious.
You are beautifully imperfect.
You are You.
And there ain't nothing else you should ever try to be.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti