8.18.2010

108th Post!


"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.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great post...:) Reading your blog amongst others have really helped and inspired me to face those uncertainties as I progress in my practice...:)

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  2. Congrats on the 108, all good stuff too.

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  3. And thank you for the great posts! Our practices may be wildly different but as you say, we are all in this together :)

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  4. An auspicious post number - congrats!

    I increasingly come to find that for me, my home practice is the "real yoga."

    My teacher often says that his classes are NOT practice, they're instruction that you bring into your own practice, and emphasizes that if you don't have a home practice, you have no practice at all.

    Of course I do quite enjoy going to the studio a few times a week.

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  5. I'm not sure why it's taken me this long to discover your blog - but I am glad I did!

    I am about to pick up and move across the country to start grad school and as a budding iyengar yogi have been a bit concerned that there won't be as many iyengar teachers available within my vicinity (there is a plethora within a 1.5 hr train ride though)... and it helps to remember/keep in mind that while (especially at this stage in the game) it helps to have teachers to turn to, my practice is always going to be available to me no matter where I go. Thanks, indeed, for shedding some light!

    Namaste :)

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  6. Congrats on your 108th post! And what a beautiful, moving post to celebrate it. I love the idea that we are all part of a global practice, like a huge mandala. Looking forward to 108 more! ;)

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  7. Thanks again, everyone. Love to you all!

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  8. I love how beautifully you describe the community of yoga--that even though we all have different practices, we're all on a similar journey.

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