In Search of Ourselves - What Do We Look For in Yoga? What Do We Find?

People often come to yoga looking for something. Whether it’s flexibility, stress relief, healing, health, and physical benefits. All over the world, people are turning to this practice with a desire to get on their mat and breathe.

When I think about my practice, a return after my son was born, I was looking for something. Anything, in fact. Anything to take away what felt like this unbearable clench upon my heart. To talk about my depression, is not something that trails from my lips like dark cornered poetry. It doesn’t tap away at keys attempting to press on for attention. It is that way today. I can talk about It. I can write about It. And often times, that It will bring me to tears or buckle my knees because It is that close, no matter how far and wide my stretches of dips become.

I came to this practice searching for something. I’d visit favorite teachers and take class almost everyday. Often times, the teachers I gravitated towards were on the quiet side, they weren’t the ones heavy with themes or scripture, but simply the ones that taught breath and asana (physical postures). Looking back, it is as though they let the practice speak for itself. And with their loving guidance, someway-somehow, overtime, the yoga became a stepping stool that brought meaning into my life. As I practiced, I began to connect with my center, the core of my Being. Lara, a fellow oneOeight guide, spoke at great length what it means to connect with your center, or core, on one of Rachel’s latest podcast episodes. I listened to her with a few reflective “ah-ha” moments. I literally was able to wake up my body and transcend my mental stability. It wasn’t overnight and it wasn’t something I had necessarily expected. The practice brought me back to life, so to speak.

And while I was searching for something back then, I realize what I had been searching for was actually myself. Me and my core.

This is my why for teaching.

And beneath the funny-looking poses, sometimes strange breathing cues, sweating palms and toes, belly laughter, and gushed and hushed tears is where you’ll find my undercover armor of gratitude and love for this practice.

Always and forever.

Stephanie Birch - Journey Flow

Journey into the body, out through the breath. Watch in full on

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