Why Do I Do Yoga?

with Michelle Alistoun

This photo was taken many years ago at I time that I enjoyed practicing yoga because it felt good.  

Fast forward a couple of decades and I’m still doing it but not because it feels good.  Quite honestly, some days I don’t like it at all.

The reality is that my practice is hard, long and deep and it takes a lot of focus and discipline to get through it and sometimes I approach the monster like a spoilt child who just doesn’t want to do it.  For some strange reason I keep going through the motions… but why?

I mean, if I wasn’t doing this, then I might be blissfully unaware of the aches of my aging body, the occasional tight areas and all the weak spots.  I could be blissfully ignorant of the poses that I utterly despise.

Why am I such a masochist?!

The clear answer to this madness can only come clearly in times of turmoil, times when life is not smooth, when relationships falter or when tragedy strikes.  It is then that I bring my hands to my heart and bow down with gratitude on the final moments on the mat.  One thing is certain and that is that these hard times are 100% guaranteed.  Life is amazingly beautiful and life is incredibly hard. It makes no difference of who you are, you will find yourself in the dark alone at some point even if you’re basking in the sunshine today.

So that’s why.  It has saved my life over and over.  When I feel weak, I am reminded during the practice that I’m strong after overcoming so many fears.  When my mind is overwhelmed with terrifying fears, my constant breathe can bring me back to the present moment that is always at least alright if there is my mat beneath me. When my heart feels as though it has been broken by another, I am reminded it is open. When worries overwhelm me, I can relax and let go – temporarily at least.  There are always victories on the mat, even if it’s as simple as being present in one single breath of the hundreds.

My moving meditation can be everything when all else appears to be noise.  Chaos can surround me but I can always come back to the quiet, the simplicity, the strength, the safety, the Yoga.


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