Yoga is forever.
It occurred to me tonight that I have yoga for forever. This has also been a known I suppose but for a long time yoga was just something I was trying out. It felt like maybe I would try it out for a bit until it didn’t feel good anymore or until I was completely healed and then I would stop. In the beginning, I actually didn’t think about the long term and I guess that’s why it has taken me so long to realize that I have yoga for forever.
When I am on my mat I don’t think much about the future, not in the grand sense. Don’t get me wrong, I still think. I still plan dinner and wonder what I will teach in class tomorrow. I weigh my options over a big decision I may be making. I still think about the future but I don’t step back and contemplate my life as a whole, how it should look and feel. In regular time, off my mat, I often do this. I take a step back and feel overwhelmed by the amount of life there is to live and the scariness of not knowing if I have 8 days or 80 years left to live it all. In regular life, I stress about how disingenuous the yoga world is. I resent all things yoga when I’m not on my mat. I wonder how I am contributing to the world. I wonder if I am making a difference or if I’m doing what I am suppose to be doing.
Regardless of the day, how burnt out I am from teaching, or how fed up I am with a post I just saw on instagram, I roll out my mat and practice. Some days my body doesn’t move. I try to move it but it just resists. I lay in pigeon pose and sit and breath and time takes an eternity to pass. Other days, I have the strongest most capable body...at least that’s what it feels like. Everything feels good, everything I try works. I practice either way not just for the “feel good” in my body part, but for the “your pondering has no place here” part, for the surrender from thinking to feeling.
I’ve been feeling the burn from yoga lately, almost like I could walk away and never look back. This burn has slowly permeated into other aspects of my life. My boredom with my once favorite hobby and now career has made my whole life seem like a box I can’t get out of. I have stopped reading books for fun, I have stopped listening to podcasts for fun, I have stopped practicing for fun. It feels like my life revolves around teaching yoga. I wake up uninspired and ready to quit it all, dub yoga “not for me” and move on. I wake up and go to sleep wondering how I got here, why I’m doing this and why I even like yoga.
They tell me that we all go through this phase.
The reason yoga is forever is because I realized yoga is forever. I don’t have to cram it all into right now. I don’t have to be a perfect student or a perfect teacher right now or ever. I don’t have to fill every moment of free time with “yoga stuff.” I can still do other things without abandoning yoga. Since I started practicing consistently seven years ago, I have felt a strong devotion to yoga. It rescued me from a dark and potentially deadly cycle of depression and that’s just the beginning of it. I feel guilt over finding and pursuing other interests outside of yoga for two reasons. One being fear I will fall out of the routine of practicing and my life will fall apart. Two being fear that if I devote my attention to other interests yoga will seem less important in my life and the God that does not rule it will banish me from the yoga world forever.
But, yoga is forever. If you have been doing this long enough, so consistently that it’s less of a routine and more of a habit, yoga is always going to be there you. Do you hear what I am saying? I am saying that you can wake up today and run out of time to practice but that doesn’t mean you can’t practice again tomorrow. I am saying that you can devote 8 hours a day to something else you love and still find time for yoga before, after or in between. I am saying that 10 years from now if you are living in a different place, with a different partner, with a different job, you can still wake up and practice yoga. Things will change, your body will change but you can still wake up and practice yoga. Yoga is forever and you don’t have to think about it. You can show up and practice and your body knows. Your breath, your body and your deeper knowing conspire for the thinking you, they won’t let you turn away. Yoga will always be there for you. You can make mistakes and change your job and read books that are fiction and it will still be there. Forever.