Why Do You Practice Yoga?

I hit my mat last night and as soon as I grabbed my elbows for ragdoll, the tears started flowing. Believe me, I'm no stranger to crying during my practice. Usually the waterworks start at a somewhat predictable time like half-pigeon, frog or savasana. Last night was different. From that first ragdoll right through to savasana I was a blubbery, snotty, red-faced mess with tears streaming down my face. At the end of the 60-minute class, I found myself lying in a puddle of my own sweat and tears. What was going through my head? I LOVE YOGA. To some people, this might seem like the weirdest realization ever and I get it. It does sound kind of crazy. How could I possibly love something that I just spent the whole time crying through? Some of you, I'm sure, know exactly where I'm coming from. With everything going on in my life, I needed the sweat and I needed the tears. In that moment, I realized just how far I had strayed from my true purpose of practicing. I fell in love with yoga all over again. I came to yoga seeking something deeper than flexibility and balance. I discovered it at a time in my life when I was really struggling. The emotional and mental benefits of the practice have always far outweighed the physical for me. In the past few months, I strayed from that. I got caught up - ok fine, obsessed - with the physical practice. I hit my mat everyday and not for the purpose of bettering how I treat myself and others, but in hopes of advancing my practice and poses. I'm not saying that we can't strive to advance our physical practice. That's part of our growth and I'm all for it but in this case, it had completely pulled me away from the real reason that I hit my mat. Last week, I watched a video exploring why people practice yoga and I couldn't help but ask myself the same question. Jenn Dwyer Why do I practice? As I lay in savasana last night, I remembered. It's not so I can hold a handstand, have a 6-pack, or throw my leg around my head. I practice because my mat is always there for me, no matter what story I'm creating in my head or what craziness life is throwing at me. When I'm feeling good, my mat brings me joy. When I feel rotten, it becomes my sanctuary. Life can be tough. Bad things happen to good people. We experience loss. We feel sadness. I practice because when life gets out of control and I feel like I'm starting to lose myself, I step onto my mat and somehow, in the sweat, the breath and sometimes even the tears, I find myself again. That's why I practice yoga. Why do you? The Culture Of Yoga from Jennifer Chapman on Vimeo.
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The exact same reasons! Plus it keeps me present to myself !

Kathy Fulton on April 24, 2015

Beautiful. Wonderful. And I so relate.

Leslieboo on April 24, 2015

I love this. thank you! and it’s so true. the physical aspects of the practice are so obvious-in the beginning. but I find too the more I hit my mat the more I find out more about ME.

Linda on April 24, 2015

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