|My sweet parents sent this to me in celebration of Katie's 19th birthday - a symbol of transformation (and resurrection)|
I have heard so many good things about yoga that I pushed through my fear of embarrassment and took a class early in the week. It was challenging without being intimidating; it was difficult, yet gentle. Yoga combines the physical, mental and spiritual in a way that I have never encountered before. I liked it immediately, and went back for more.
Here is a brief sample of a yoga session with Maya, one of the excellent teachers at Rancho La Puerta:
One of my decisions in "taking the Ranch home" was a commitment to finding a yoga studio nearby and trying it here. Bainbridge Yoga House is just a few miles from our home, and I've been going to classes there.
Some of the great gifts of yoga come through its teachings - intention, awareness, breathing, acceptance, gentleness, stillness-with-energy, concentration, strength, ease, flexibility, forgiveness and peace. Yesterday, we were invited to "be a fountain, not a drain" - clear imagery imparted with gentle humor.
Practicing yoga, I notice tenseness, tightness or inflexibility in my body; there are always opportunities to check alignment and make tiny adjustments. Each correction makes a difference, and can bring the feeling of "Ah! That's better." Instead of berating myself for what I can't do, I can recall beginner's mind: we are all beginners, every day, starting fresh, again and again. That's a privilege - a kind of daily forgiveness. The practice of accepting and being gentle with myself, just as I am, helps me to feel gentler toward life and the rest of the world.
Yoga is also transforming me in ways which I did not anticipate. Feeling at home in my body, awareness (and acceptance) of it are things which I did not learn while growing up. Christian Science expends a lot of energy denying the physical senses, so to one coming from that background, body-work is basically a foreign concept. Practicing yoga helps me to connect with myself physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally - all at the same time. I feel stronger, and enjoy what my body can do, while becoming aware of what it cannot (yet) do - and what is possible, with practice. After class, I feel invigorated and accomplished. It is a wonderful way to begin the day, with gratitude, integration and joy.
I'm so thankful that I tried yoga at the Ranch, and can continue here at home.
|Sculpture depicting Child's Pose at Rancho La Puerta|
Our bodies are indeed temples for the Divine.