#365yoga Day 119: The Birth of Yoga


There’s controversy about when yoga was born.  Some say it is 5000 years old, others say it is only about 250 years old, and others say yoga always was.  I’m not sure who is right.  Maybe they all are.  Maybe none of them are.  It’s one of those things you just cannot prove or disprove and yet folks still get all up in arms over it insisting that they know the truth.

I don’t get it.

Yoga Sol opens tomorrow.  It has been a very long process and what the community will see tomorrow is different than what was originally planned.  I spent a bit of time there over the last few days and was overwhelmed by the transformation that this once storage space has endured and how it turned into a breathtakingly beautiful yoga studio.  Today the new website launched. It is much different than our former site and I cannot stop looking at it – I love everything about it.  That said, it, too, went through many transformations.

There were days during the planning and development of the site and the studio where it felt as though we scrapped everything we had been working on and went back to square one.  No one tells you that you’re going to end up reconfiguring the class price 47 times, that you will write and re-write your own bio so many times it begins to feel as though you’re writing about someone else, that it takes approximately 13 different colors of paint to get to the right feel of a yoga studio wall – and let’s not even get started on ceilings.  I felt every single one of those labor pains even though honestly, compared to Polly, I was barely a part of the process. It was a struggle, it was hard work, there were long moments when it felt impossible, insurmountable, wildly overwhelming.  There were also times of triumph, of energy, of pride, of excitement, and exaltation!

Just like giving birth, is what I’m saying.

I’ve been thinking about the process for quite a while now.  Where did it all start?  When was it born?  Is it born in the mind?  In the city’s zoning office?  On the designer’s blue prints? I don’t know.  I kind of think it was always there.  I think steps were taken each day that brought it a little closer to reality, but the feeling, the image, the spirit of it was always there, living in the hearts and minds and souls and mats and roots of those who wanted it, believed in it, and eventually manifested it.

Yoga is much the same way.  For me, it’s something that is born every single day and, at the same time, was never born and never will be born because it always has been and always will be.  It’s a beginner’s mind kind of thing.  It meets me where I am every single day, in every single moment.  Some days it looks different than others.  Some days it is upside down and sweaty.  Some days it is silent and still and horizontal.  Some days it doesn’t even have anything to do with my body.  It’s an evolution, a labor, a practice that evolves and grows and is born and reborn and it almost never looks the same way as it did the day before.  It is a process, ever changing, ever growing, ever revolutionizing the practitioner.  It is ageless and timeless and exactly as it should be.

The debate about the origins of yoga will rage on, I’m sure.  I don’t imagine that there will ever be a universally agreed upon answer. That’s fine with me because I know the truth:  yoga was born a minute ago.  And this exact minute.  And it’s due to be born tomorrow, as well. How will you celebrate?



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