I love this time of year. It’s time to throw out old habits from 2016, and adopt newer better habits. Yoga transforms your body and your mind. Here is a letter from our latest yoga teacher graduate, Carol, about the power of daily yoga. Carol teaches a beginner vinyasa flow on Tuesday nights, at 7 pm.
When I dedicated myself to a regular practice just over a year ago, and read How Yoga Works, I knew to whom I would always dedicate my yoga: my daughter. Yes, my son and husband were in the mix, but nobody could set me off like she could and I knew that I didn’t have the relationship with her I wanted. That silent sitting before practice gave me the motivation to get through asana after asana. (yoga postures) And over the months I could tell I was gaining strength. Some days were better than others, but as yoga made me more aware of my body it changed me.
Renewing the purpose of my yoga, to remember to see my daughter as the light in my eyes and not the thorn in my side, meant bit by bit my behavior off the mat changed. It might be an apology, it might be a conscious stopping of our usual interaction to tell her, “I don’t want to yell, I don’t want this to repeat itself,” or it might be letting the undone chore slide a little bit longer in favor of familial peace. Yoga allowed me to see the seeds I planted and the find new seeds.
Wanting to rush the process, I always invite my daughter to practice with me. I’m always rebuffed. “Yoga is weird.” Even now, if I want to clear the family room all I have to do is break out into a chant. I won’t force it on her, ever, but it will always be offered.
I was already happy with the rewards of being a yoga instructor-nurturing others, seeing progress, properly prioritizing my life- when a moment of grace came a week ago. My usual offer to practice together earned an unusual refusal. “No. Yoga might make you stronger and it might make you a nicer person, but it’s still weird.” Did you catch that? My daughter recognized that my behavior through the practice of yoga has changed! It has invigorated my practice like nothing else ever could. Yoga has made me a nicer person AND my thirteen-year-old can see it? Who cares about ever mastering Dwi Pada Koudinyasana or Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana now? I’m getting what I want. On the other hand, bring on those bad-boy seemingly unattainable poses. If I can get this far with her, what can’t I do?