This was one of the last things that I said to my father before he passed away. And everyday I wake up; I try to live that fully, authentically and honorably.
It was 2 years ago when I first was seriously introduced to the world of yoga. I was at a transformational festival called Evolvefest, held in Pennsylvania; it was an experience that changed my life.
Yoga, to me, is creating a space to sort your shit out. When I dive into my practice I find myself observing my thoughts and my life, and I am able to objectively watch as my life plays out. In a way, I take a time out from my life to assess and see where I’m at, and where I want to go. Yoga has offered me insight into myself and my world, in a way that I have never experienced.
Everyone has different experiences with their own practice, but we all seem to find this inner sense of peace that allows us to let “the dust settle” and realign with our hearts.
So this isn’t a “how-to” piece and it’s not a definitive guide to developing your own practice, this is a form of my own yoga practice, allowing me to reflect and share with you some of my own insights. I hope they inspire and motivate us all to live authentically and understand the ease of life, if we can just drop into the flow and let go.
In yoga, there is something called “the edge.” As students we are encouraged to play with our edge, meaning we are supposed to push our bodies and minds to the point just out of our comfort zone, but not over extending ourselves into a place where injury can happen. The edge, is a place in your practice where you push your limits both physically and mentally. (keep an eye out for our permaculture post about how “the edge” plays a major role with permaculture) You play around with the edge, getting to know that space, exploring your experience in a holistic sense. It is at the edge where we find our most productive growth. We push past our limits and find that we are still here. We are still alive. We are still thriving. We have moments of epiphany, where we discover that the limits we thought we had do not actually exist, and we get comfortable at the edge and then push past it again.
The edge can be our place of growth, our place of learning and our home. We push past our physical limits, and we push past our mental limits, and we find a new sense of curiosity and courage to push past our limits in our life.
I, like so many other yoga practitioners have experienced many moments of realization, so I won’t list all of what I’ve experienced with my yoga practice, but I want to share with you the most recent epiphany I had.
Recently as I have been practicing, Sarvangasana, or shoulder stand pose, I have been playing around with some modification to help stretch my inner thigh muscles, and I let my legs fall the sides and I allow gravity to help me accomplish a deeper stretch.
As I did this, I had to fully let my body release tension and just fall, and let gravity do the work.
As I did this, I found a relationship between “the outside world” and me, a relationship that was harmonious, forgiving and cooperative.
As I let go of my control, I found that world worked with me. Gravity alone was doing the work to help me accomplish my goal of getting to my edge, and getting into a deeper stretch.
“Trust that the world is good, and you will see how good the world can be.” I said this to my father at his bedside while he was in the hospital, after he asked me what I learned from going to California by myself for this music festival, Lucidity. It has taken me some time to understand what I meant, because it was sort of an automatic response. He asked me to repeat it several times so he could commit it to memory because he thought it was… well I guess he liked it.
Trusting that the world is good, expecting it to be good, has helped me see the magic in life. It has helped me be fearless, and it has helped me be authentic. Trusting the world, or with this example, trusting gravity in my yoga practice, I found cooperation and new edges, I found growth. As a native New Yorker, (Queens, NY! put some respek on my borough!), trust isn’t something we are known for, but let’s let go a bit and see what happens. (Unless someone is trying to sell you something on the subway…… *eye roll*…. if had dollar for every “mix tape” I bought and found that it was a blank CD… well I’d have 5 bucks.)
I wake up everyday hoping to fully embody that phrase. I try to live courageously, fearlessly and with pure intention of happiness and wellbeing. My yoga practice has been an avenue for me to explore my life, and myself, honestly and courageously.
So my yoga practice has allowed me to experience liberation, freedom, authenticity and strength that I didn’t know I had. If you are interested in yoga please read the following content, hopefully it will help you explore more of your own practice or start for the very first time.
Wherever you are in life, or your own yoga practice, remember that you are perfect just the way you are, and if you take a moment to step outside yourself you can direct your life in any way you want. You are amazing. Namaste.
Some content to check out: