I Am A Yoga Girl has a depth of meaning for me that has grown and transformed over time. Initially my practice started off as primarily physical. I compared myself to my neighboring mats and felt inadequate due to being unable to even touch my toes.
I found myself in the studio to make friends after moving to a brand new city without a job, my family, or friends. What I found was that for the first time in my life, I was finding and befriending myself.
As I took the journey down to my toes and into my soul, everything changed. I knew that something bigger was happening on the mat and wanted to dive deeper. I enrolled in a yoga teacher training, that's when I had the privilege to truly immerse myself in the ancient tradition that opened my eyes to the profound breadth of knowledge that I couldn't seem to get enough of.
My practice shifted as loving kindness seeped from my being and expanded towards others. I developed an internal knowing that we are all the same, we all deserve love, we all have abilities that are far and wide, that this separation is an illusion. Yoga is most certainly not simply an occurrence on your mat, the impact is much more far reaching. Yoga provides a community of support and guidance. It allows us to dissipate yet interpret feelings of shame and doubt. It allows us to truly be human.
By utilizing awareness and mindfulness, paying attention to what you ingest, how you treat the environment, how you interact with others, and how you think about yourself are ways in which you locate the light within yourself and within others. You have the ability to connect to your gut and follow your intuition which will never steer you astray.
Being a Yoga Girl means practicing asana, but it also means holding space for others, discovering who you are and knowing that you are enough and have always been enough. It means being vulnerable by pulling out the things you've metaphorically shoved under the rug and taking a good hard look at them. It means being kind and generous to others. It means to breathe deeply, not just on your mat, but filling your lungs every moment of the day with gratitude to their capacity. It means not apologizing for feeling what you are experiencing. It means putting yourself first and not labeling it as selfishness. It means taking up space in this world instead of withdrawing. It means enjoying the small things because after all, they make up the biggest thing- your life.
On days that prove to be extra challenging, yoga is there for me. When I’m too consumed in my mind and farther away from my heart, yoga is there to ground me. It has allowed me to accept my body, deepen my breath, and connect to the seat of my soul. It’s been like a church, a safe haven, the thing I’ve always needed and never knew I had access to all along.