“You feel it in your bones,” our yoga instructor said before moving into an energetic hour of flowing poses. She was talking about the practice of yoga, the breath of yoga, the intention of yoga.
It was the final class in the six-week series, and I’ll be honest…yoga is not in my bones. Not yet.
I know a few poses now. I understand the breathing better. I’m not as afraid of the stillness. And even though it’s not in me yet, I know this is my path.
A year ago, about this time, it became clear that there were some big changes on the horizon. Changes that involved my role in the world and my perception of my own relevance.
One afternoon, I was walking in the woods. When I came to the place where the spirits often speak to me, I heard a voice encourage: now is the time to focus on your spirituality.
I resisted at first. With its close relation to the word “religion” and my dysfunctional Catholic upbringing, I resisted a lot.
But I knew – as much as you know – that wherever there is resistance, there is need. Need for change, need for movement.
And so slowly, as the past year and its changes have unfolded, I’ve thought about that message and considered the ways I could bring my focus to something that seems so foreign…yet familiar.
My spirituality is a crazy quilt of ideals: the Guan-Yin medallion sitting next to the Buddhist prayer beads near the Guardian Angel candle and the amethyst crystal on the altar where I burn incense and thank the Universe. But as much as I embrace the simplicity of the Buddha, the blessing of angels, the energy of nature — that message made me realize that what I needed most was not a particular deity or mores, but time.
Time in which to actually find a connection to what all of those talismans represent — a spirit that is greater than me, my perceptions, my world.
For me, yoga offers that time.
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Images from William Cheselden: Osteographia, or The Anatomy of the Bones.
Yoga Week One: It Will Come
Yoga Week Two: When Yoga is Only Part of the Big Picture
Yoga Week Three: Applying Stillness
Yoga Week Four: Still There is Joy
Yoga Week Five: Loving Kindness
Yoga Week Six: In Your Bones