When talking to one of my dearest friends a few moments ago, I mentioned that I haven’t blogged in a long time and am not exactly sure where to start. His response was, “Begin at the beginning.” Being the smarta** that I am, I was highly tempted to write, “I was born a poor black child,” but, realizing that not everyone is a fan of The Jerk, decided against it. But if you’re not a fan of The Jerk, I have only one thing to say: ARE YOU SERIOUS?
I get asked all the time about my yogic journey. What started it? When did it start? What inspired me? What steps did I take? Why do I love it so? At these times, I experience something that is rather unexpected – I am nearly speechless. It’s not that there isn’t a story to tell, it’s more like there aren’t words beautiful enough, strong enough, picturesque enough to tell the story. I try and nothing seems to be “enough.” Interesting, isn’t it? Yoga kind of is all about finding “enoughness.”
I think I have been on my yogic journey since I was in my early teens. I always thought, “There’s more to life than this.” I remember reaching out beyond what was popular in my age group to read things that were not exactly on the junior high reading lists. By the time I was 14, I was hunting for anything that would show me “The Way.” Of course, at that time, I had no idea what “The Way” was, but you know, at least I was looking!
I discovered Yoga when I was 18. I had heard about this thing called “Yoga” but had no idea really what it was about. Prior to 18, yoga was some woman on PBS in a leotard with her hair in a bun. Yep, let me tell you, that’s *exactly* what every 18yo girl wants to sign up for – leotards, tights, and hair buns! YES! Um, actually… NO! Anyway, when I was in college, I discovered a lot of things *ahem* and one of them was folks who knew, loved, and lived their yoga. They always had this peaceful look on their faces. As frustrated and angry as they could be, there was always this sense of, “I’m really frustrated and / or angry at this moment but I know it will pass and it is not my overriding state.” WOW! Seriously?!?! The idea that you could be frustrated but not totally encompassed by frustration or rage was something I could never imagine! Hell, even now I can totally imagine it, but only manage to accomplish it some of the time!
So, from that introduction, I started learning more. I started doing some. I started talking to a lot of folks. I started reading. I started moving. I started breathing. Oh yes, the breathing! It still took me almost 6 years to get my own mat, but all we have is time, right? RIGHT? thank you. One step on my first mat (like most yogis, I started out with a Gaiam ) and I was sold.
Things take time, however, and it took many more years for me to state decisively that I am a yogi now and forever more. A year ago, I took a stand, declared my intention, and dove in head first into studying the Sutras, history, philosophy, anatomy, asanas, yamas, niymas, limbs, the whole nine yards. Now, in my zillionth (so it seems) incarnation, I stand here toes splayed on my Lotus Pad mat, and state that I am a student of Yoga always, a yoga teacher (more about this to come) several times a week, and a practitioner of yoga in my daily life. My tools of the trade are my mat, The Yoga Sutras, loads of Nag Champa, a meditation bench hand-made by my dear Dad, my mentor Polly, and some killer playlists (also more about this upcoming … music, while controversial in yoga practice, is Prana to me.)
I am on the mat 6 days a week every week, some weeks find me on the mat all 7 days. I teach at least 3 classes each week, sometimes more. I love arm balances. I love inversions. I love the hard, crazy, defy gravity stuff, but I also love the sitting still stuff. I love Kirtan. I love bolsters. I love restorative yoga. I love Ashtanga. I love Hot Yoga (I don’t love Bikram – I have enough judgment in my life, thankyouverymuch.) I love Vinyasa. I love Kirpalu. I love it all and I want it alllllllll. Yes, I want it alllll (except the itty bitty yoga shorts. Leave those to Bikram … I’m leaving him alone.)
Yoga means many things, but one of the definitions is To Unite. And there’s a LOT of parts of me to Unite. I am excited to share it all here – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (and we take a moment to think of Clint Eastwood …… ahhhhhhhhhh) of Sarahsana: Slip-sliding into Samadhi.
Coming up next…
You teach WHERE? and other bizarrely answered questions…