"It is said that the Atman, the human soul or center goes through 108 stages on the journey (SwamiJ.com)."
Eight months or 107 posts ago, I began Damn Good Yoga. Around that time, my practice had plateaued. I had a steady, regular practice that I had come to depend on as a source of peace and strength, but felt as though something was missing. The impact that yoga was making on my life had become more obvious than ever in the state of my body and mind, but stepping into my yoga space at home, unrolling my mat every day had begun to feel lonely, even a little bit selfish. I continued to wonder if what I was doing, practicing without the guidance of a teacher, shut away in my little room was "real yoga."
Then I started poking around the internet, reading the practice blogs of other yogis and yoginis. Blogs like Ashtanga Vinyasa Krama at Home and The Reluctant Ashtangi, among others, written by dedicated home practitioners, inspired me to trust myself, to trust the practice, and brought me to the realization that it doesn't matter where, when, or with whom I do my yoga. People everywhere are waking up at ungodly hours to trek to the studio or shoving the coffee table out of the way, putting the dog in the other room, and unrolling their mats every day. And we're all in this together. No one practices alone.
This practice is built on a firm foundation, thousands of years old, and though it has evolved and continues to do so, we all build upon this same foundation with the ultimate goal, not of feats of strength or flexibility, but of arriving at our highest truth, embodying our best and brightest selves. So no matter which form we choose to practice, or how we use this practice in our lives, we all share in this act of humility. To practice yoga is to admit that we are not our best selves, that we are nowhere near to this highest expression.
In doing the practice, we commit to the difficult task that is the shedding of the layers that shield us from our truth. This molting can be itchy and uncomfortable, but it can also be extraordinarily liberating and the catalyst of profound change. I have found in these few years along my journey that the struggle is more than worth it, and I write this blog in hopes that my experiences can shed a little bit of light on the path for those around me, and perhaps some for those just peaking down the way, hoping for a glimpse of what's to come.
I'd like to express my thanks to all of you: readers, yoga bloggers, practitioners everywhere. I am inspired and enriched by your beautiful practices every day.