I have been on my Yoga journey for a small period of my life but it has transformed me beyond my own recognition of myself.
It was knocking at my spiritual door for many years and it was only recently that I decided to open that door and let that reconnecting with spirit in.
This past summer, I decided to to delve into Yoga Teacher Training with Detroit Yoga Lab.
This was actually the same studio I took my first real yoga class from.
Let me take you back, I was a graduate student at Wayne State in the Fine Arts Department and my room mate invited me to sign up for a week of yoga. It was a great move for me at that period of my life and left a strong imprint in my memory.
noticing my body in space and time
realizing that the body needs to be respected
I felt so rested that I fell asleep during the class.
As someone who has always been a high achiever, it felt so different than any experience I had ever had. My spiritual practice back then might have been looking at a beautiful work of art at the Detroit Institute of art…namely a Rothko painting that brought so much inner harmony. I felt glimpses of that spirit waking up here and there, only to realize many years later.
At that period of my life, I was a part of the “art scene” in Detroit and staying up late and going to art openings and consuming copious amounts of alcohol was all part of the persona that I donned as an artist. I even smoked cigarettes back then.
Yoga kept creeping up in my life but I never gave it much thought.
It was as if the universe was sending me precious bread crumbs, saying…yes please invite me into your life.
In undergrad my mom bought me a great yoga bundle with a mat, block, strap. I used it a few times but lacked the ability to sit and really be in my body until years later. I was a college athlete then and participated in cross country, indoor and outdoor track. So I was always looking for the finish line. Too consumed by achieving and being recognized as talented.
Yoga circled back around years later, when I taught my first art class at the college level, I had a student whom was making artwork with images of the Buddha, nature and tea. She was happy and buoyant with life and that also left an impression on my heart space.
And lastly, yoga came to me in the form of a well known music festival in Michigan, Electric Forest.
I participated in a group yoga session and felt so much joy.
I felt an emotional release doing yoga next to my husband against a sea of people enjoying the orchestrated movement.
That was the first year my heart truly opened to everything.
I knew that this was a safe, loving and nurturing practice that can keep you grounded and filled with light and love.
It takes me back to a memory of when I was a pre-teen, I received a birthday gift from my sister, a CD from my favorite emo band, Bright Eyes. On the yellow front cover of the cd there was a quote that said something about, “being warm light that spreads.”
I finally know what that means.
My life, like many, has had many bumps, unconsciously pinballing through life, unaware and afraid.
Now I feel my own inner light and know that it is always with me. I have the path of yoga to thank for that.
I now know my mission
To be warm light that spreads.
I am not an expert
I still fumble
I get irritated
I get angry somtimes
But I know the light is always within me and yoga is helping me see that light. It has been my saving grace showing me that the light is always there.
I am excited to keep sharing my journey on the path to yoga.
I hope you find some time to practice some gentle movements today or just get quiet with yourself.
There is so much harmony in that.