I know A LOT about yoga.
This proclamation of yogic knowledge is parallel to a scientist stating, “I know a lot about science.” Or to an artist stating, “I know a lot about art.” In fact, for me, I take the two, science and art, mesh them like a delicious, creamy, overflowing spoonful of peanut butter with seedy, chunky, succulent raspberry jam (a spoonful because who eats bread nowadays, hehe), and this yields my yoga. My yoga is science. And art. It is peanut butter and jelly. I know a lot about it. I also know very little, when the bigger picture is considered.
Yoga is huge. More styles exist than nationalities do in the United States. Different reasons exist for practicing. A skyscraper of yogic levels tower above the yogic world. It’s a very personal thing. And it’s also a thing which brings people together. But at the end of the day, yoga reduces the human to one thing: to the body and to its movement synchronised with breath.
In the early days of my yoga practice, circa 2009 – 2011, it was something fashionable, flirty, pretty, and exciting. It was fabulous, practiced with the sexiest ladies and gentlemen in town. And then I was kicked out of yoga school. Two schools, to be exact. I lost my yogic way, got fat, and didn’t know how to find my way back to the euphoric feeling that yoga funded me.
Then in 2014, headstrong, I created a blog project known as “Finding My Yoga” where I explored so many styles, teachers, what-have-you until one day, 15 months into the project, I found Ashtanga.
I practiced Ashtanga like hell last summer. Got super lean. Combined it with outdoor cycling. And I was freaking higher than the highest skyscraper in the world, which I believe exists in Dubai. But as cycling roads became icy and covered with snow, I began using my Ashtanga practice as cardio and injured myself in my frantic way to accomplish the Full Primary Full Vinyasa Method, every single day. The ankle resembled a balloon. I needed to hop my little dog to the grass patch because I could not walk. It was terrible. The worst injury of my life. And I didn’t cut back on food, got fat AGAIN (not totally fat, but chubby, we’re talking a size 4)… and I was angry.
I have fixed this with my discovery and investment in Peloton.
Which leads me to the purpose of this article. A new high quality PeloFriend inquired about practicing yoga and how to practice considering fear of exacerbating existing injury. And my answer is simply this: with yoga, you have control of your body, and you must know when to push and when to be gentle. And when to rest. You must know your body.
It’s taken a longgggg time for me to get here, and it’s ever evolving, something with which I never imagined being comfortable, that being the concept of deviation from my strict chop chop chop manner of existing.
But, because I want and need yoga in my life forever, I am willing to experiment. I practice Ashtanga because I like knowing that pressing my right heel into my abdomen during lotus is exercising my liver and spleen, balancing out those martinis. I practice Ashtanga because it’s a system which is proven and which shall challenge me forever. I practice Ashtanga because it roots me. I practice Ashtanga because it makes me look long and lean. But I don’t teach Ashtanga, as I am not Mysore India certified by the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Institute (oh how I pine for that, in my future)… I rather teach a jazzy vinyasa flow to my clients, one of whom is an injured cyclist. We’re talking broken collar bone. But he keeps coming back to his yoga practice. He can’t touch a bike, but he chooses to challenge his body in a foreign language. And that inspires me.
So for my PeloFriend who wants to know about fear and yoga… I answer with simply this… move your body and breathe. That is yoga. Find a teacher with whom you can share and be comfortable. And know that yoga is completely yours. There is no right. There is no wrong. It might take years to find a practice that you love (check out my YouTube videos – maybe you will like something!)… But doing yoga will make your life a higher quality, and I will be so happy to help you in the discovery and recovery process.