Why do we do it? This bending our body into bizarre shapes. I wonder what aliens would think if they looked down on one of those yoga-thons. A football field filled with people in garudasana (eagle pose) curling their arms and legs around themselves while balancing on one foot. They would probably wonder, are these humans being tortured? Are they in a trance? Is this a display of their commitment to the gods? Are they being controlled by some immense power?
I suppose they wouldn’t be completely wrong.
What brought me initially to yoga were the promises of good health, time with friends and that dream of the elusive yoga body.
What kept me going were two thing:
1) I felt absolutely amazing after each class.
2) I had fallen in love with a man who also wanted to try this yoga thing out.
Feeling good was a strong incentive to get onto my new Lululemon mat but even that didn’t always carry through on those rainy Vancouver days. Getting home from work in the dark with my jeans soaked through after walking home from the bus, all I wanted to do was order Thai food and watch Grey’s Anatomy. In the end it was Chris, this incredible partner who I had so brashly moved in with after three months, who got me to my mat. On days I struggled he would give me the “are you sure you don’t want to go?” Of course I couldn’t help but want to go with him (swoon).
So the two of us clumsily bumbled through classes at the old Flow studio in Coal Harbour. I positioned myself in the back of the room, always forgetting that as soon as we turned upside down in downward dog everyone could see me anyway. We went once a week (maybe) and it was hard to get any better. Every pose was a mystery I felt like I would never get closer to unlocking. I felt destined to be that ostrich in class with my head poking up to find out “what the hell are we supposed to be doing?”
I’d say I existed in this bizarre no-man’s-land-yoga-state for a little over a year. I knew I loved it and knew there had to be more to this strange world of yoga but I couldn’t quite tell where or how to get to that next level. It took ramping it up with a 30 day challenge before I really made any headway in my practice. We did the challenge together. Friends thought we were crazy. Our social life had to be reworked. Party nights were out of the question. It was yoga yoga yoga all the time. And it worked. I suddenly didn’t feel like I was trespassing on someone else’s past time. Yoga was in me and my body craved it. I knew I wanted to do this forever.
For our honeymoon, Chris and I travelled around the world for a year (I know, right?!). Three weeks into the trip we ran into a Kyla on the streets of Koh Samui. We knew her as the girl who checked us in at Flow Yoga and as yogi who’s style we couldn’t help but admire in class. We marveled at the chance occurrence of running into each other. We met up again in Bangkok and decided since we were all planning to go to India we should meet up in Goa for Christmas.
After a ridiculous Christmas in Goa we knew we had to continue our adventure. We met up again in Mysore to check out the yoga scene (another blog in itself). Having Kyla in our lives in India and in Vancouver helped seal the deal. Someone else we could talk yoga to all the time. We were really hooked.
Chris and I still practice together. We have a baby now and my parents help us out by babysitting so we can go. Kyla is back in India and just spent six weeks with our yoga teacher in Mysore. I’m heading into Module two of a teacher training this summer. Yoga is happening all around us.
My practice is different then the old days at Flow. I’m not some crazy flexible yogi but I get it more, and it’s no longer just about the poses.
Everyone’s yoga story is unique. We all get here on a different path. My path includes the love of my life who helped bring me to a practice that feeds my individuality. For that I am so incredibly grateful.
photo taken by Sarah Lomax 2008