We have all been there, that moment when you look at what people are doing and say to yourself, “what the F**** are they doing”. That moment of insecurity or discomfort! Ultimately, we know we say that because of ignorance.
I remember my first yoga class like it was yesterday. I had just left the Marine Corps and moved in with my uncle here in Tampa. Literally, two days after I got here. Anyway, he took me to a Bikram yoga class, told me to drink a bunch of water, I didn’t! And so we walked in! Immediately I was uncomfortable and questioning everything I saw and heard. Then we walked into the class! Holy cow it was hot and I began to sweat right away. I laid out my mat and waited. The breathing began which I can't even begin to explain my thoughts on that. Before I knew it the movements began. Balancing on one leg and bending and sweating and more balance, more bending continued. I kept staring at the teacher and with each command out of her mouth I gave her a look of really! Why? And did it anyway. Moment after moment I could not wait to be done. As the end was near I couldn’t help thinking while laying in a pool of my own sweat, what did I just do? Never again! I feel like I am about to die! Yoga is weird!
Sometime later I went to many different styles of classes mostly geared toward veterans because I had definitely hit rock bottom and nothing else was working. With much persuasion, I was there. Time and time again I showed up and each time for a long time I kept thinking, this is weird. Realistically, I say that to this day after I try something new in yoga haha. With all of that said I kept my opinion and judgment stowed away. I removed the expectation and tried to feel what I could. Nine times out of ten I loved the experience.
I am sure a lot of you out there know exactly what I am talking about! However, I have something deeper to share with you about yoga. This past week I spent a whole week at a retreat and I was a student. No responsibility or thoughts outside of myself was needed. I needed this more than I knew. So the biggest observation I had was that I was looking at yoga all wrong, yes it’s weird, yes I love it, yes it’s not for everyone. That’s where we are wrong!
“Yoga means ‘union’ or ‘connection’. In Sanskrit, the word ‘yoga’ is used to signify any form of connection. Yoga is both a state of connection and a body of techniques that allow us to connect to anything.
Conscious connection to something allows us to feel and experience that thing, person, or experience. The experience of connection is a state of yoga, a joyful and blissful, fulfilling experience.
Awareness is the secret of yoga.”
If we look deeply into this we can see clearly that it’s not what everyone associates it with. Going to church every Sunday can be your yoga, going to the beach every weekend can be your yoga. Yes even going to the gun range can be yoga! I failed to see this before and my ignorance is my new awareness!
I leave all of this here for you now and the only thing I want you to take with you after reading this is we are all sometimes just so closed-minded about the world and what the world has to offer. So be open to new amazing things, let go of the expectation of feeling, and more importantly be joyful!