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True story…

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One of the things I like about doing yoga is that it often reflects the spiritual practice that I’ve been engaged in for decades now. I became rather devoted to a yoga practice just prior to the pandemic and am so grateful that I did. Although I was in pretty good physical shape when I started, there were many things I couldn’t do; I was particularly challenged when it came to back flexibility. 

But, like in life in general, and most definitely when it comes to deep spiritual practice, where the aim is to go beyond words to actual experiences, the way can seem very slow at times. The beautiful thing with yoga was that I could see more clearly how simple dedication in the right direction can yield such incredible results. Because of the pandemic, I was able to get my yoga teacher’s certification via zoom. And under the excellent tutelage of Cathy Madeo from Cathy Madeo Yoga, I learned proper alignment, “tips and tricks” that make moving into more flexibility and strength soooo much easier, and met a wonderful community of other students from all the over the world. 
This gave me the foundation to at least head in the right direction.  (I had no plans to actually teach yoga. Teacher training helps your own practice whether or not you ever teach.)

Now knowing the right direction is just the beginning. Now came the work. Now came the dedication to doing at least a little bit every day. There were some longer periods sprinkled throughout that I couldn’t practice at all because of various life things, but I remained steadfast and returned to my daily practice as soon as possible. Now, a year-and-a-half later, where I couldn’t even bend back an inch, I can bring my toes up to the back of my head in some poses. Where I would shake and wobble in many poses, I now feel rooted and strong. Make no mistake, I still have A LOT to learn and am still a baby, but I don’t mind. One of the things I love about it is that there really is no ultimate destination but to learn to stay centered and at peace amid challenges.

Does it really matter that I can touch my toes to my head? No! That’s not really the point. The point, for me at least, has been to watch how day by day it often seems like no progress is being made but then one day, I transcend some limit I’ve had in my mind; I can do something that I never thought possible for me. It’s an exercise in patience and perseverance even when it seems like you’ve taken 5 steps back. It’s tiny steps that don’t seem like they are leading anywhere, but then you look back and see that you’ve traveled farther than you thought possible. 

We absolutely don’t have to practice yoga to experience this. Yoga has just been a fantastic tool for me where I could see this more clearly…and it’s fun. I love that it reflects life in general so clearly, and most importantly, my spiritual practice where I’m attempting to deep-dive every day. Sometimes it just seems like it’s all for naught, and then one day the sky opens up, tears of joy spill, and I wonder how I could have ever thought I was alone or had cause to be afraid…and so many other inexplicable experiences it would take a book to even begin to share them. 

I would invite you to find your “yoga,” your practice, whatever that might be, that shows you through actual experience that limits aren’t limits, and tiny tip-toe steps can take you to far and glorious places. 

Here’s the link to my teacher Cathy Madeo https://www.instagram.com/cathymadeoyoga/ . I would invite you to check her out. She’s so lovely and has had many challenges herself, including back surgery (from a condition not related to yoga). She could barely move at one time. Take a look at what she can do now taking those little steps. Such an inspiration and just a lovely, lovely person. 
(more…)

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