This Yoga High Has Changed
Nowadays I rarely experience a ‘yoga high’ after class. It is different to way back when I started yoga and I felt incredibly energised after class; it was like nothing I had experienced before. It kept me coming back for more and my journey with yoga began. I was addicted to this high that I did not understand. All I knew was that after class I felt more grounded, yet lighter, my mind felt clearer and my body felt extremely good, life made more sense and equally life became more mysterious; I was and am, re-aligned each time to living the examined life.
Now when I take class, more often than not I am left feeling quietly still. The stillness inside of me, that I now know is always there, feels suddenly so present. My body; like a musical instrument, feels skilfully tuned to the right key for me. It is a return to balance and a reminder that I was out of tune; still me, but slightly ( or sometimes majorly ) off key!
By the end of a good yoga class I feel welcomed by myself. I notice how nice this feels as oppose to being highly unwelcomed by myself. I unwelcome myself when I judge myself, over question myself, when I pressure myself, even when I am polite to myself rather than familiar and friendly. I am my oldest, dearest friend and spend a lot of time, heck ALL the time, with myself; this frenemy friendship doesn’t make sense and doesn’t serve.
Yoga has become that which reminds me; this is not and should not be a permanent state of being. It offers instead a stillness within me that when I connect with, through the words of a teacher, through meditation, through an opening in my body via a perfectly timed asana, my whole body softens. My mind steps down from leadership and my heart takes over. My marvellous mind helps me but it cannot lead my life. My heart must.
Your heart knows that those things you say to yourself aren't helpful. It knows that looking in the mirror and feeling anything but immense love and compassion is crazy. It knows that letting go of wishing the past could be different is true forgiveness. It knows that no one needs your love more than you do.
When I give myself that love then no surprise; I am able to give so much more love to those around me. If instead I stay stuck in my head for too long I eventually run out of grace. Yoga gives me back grace. That is my yoga high. This re-connecting to myself is one reason I am back to my mat everyday.
This yoga high is grounded in the reality of who I am everyday. Now I seek out classes where we linger longer in poses for at least a part of the class. I find teachers that hold space for self-observation and enquiry, for clear intentions, for choice and breath. I need a practise that is not just about exercise. Yes yoga is excellent for my body but so is jogging and swimming. I continuously explore a practise that challenges me not just physically but within every aspect of myself.
I return to a class, which leaves me seeing something different, that helps me shift the fear in my belly up into my heart where it can be put to good use, a space to explore what’s going on then moving on. I left a class this evening ready to face the friction I felt from that interaction that was filling my mind, not because I was on a yoga high but because I had returned to my senses, that were dressed in compassion and connected to that constant stillness within me.