My favourite story about yoga is from a few years back when my dear friend Rob and I joined a kayaking tour in the Broken Islands. Awakening in the tent the morning after our first day of paddling, my arms ached from shoulders to fingertips. Rob, who has practiced yoga for years, sat up, still in his sleeping bag and began stretching. I followed along, feeling my muscles stretch and loosen. “Ohhhh! That feels amazing!” I moaned. “Mmm. So good!”
I carried on like this for at least five minutes before hearing an embarrassed cough outside our tent.
“Yoga!” I wanted to shout. “We’re just doing yoga!” But nobody would have believed me.
After a long hiatus, I’ve started doing yoga again. It’s another one of those practices that makes me feel really great, but that for a long time I’ve neglected. In this Year of Living Passionately, I’m making it a priority. Yoga is one of those things that I’ve found hard to fit in to my life. Not only is it hard to find a class I like at a convenient time, but I also struggle a bit with perpetually feeling like a beginner. In recommitting to yoga, I’m stretching myself in more ways than one. And even though I have far to go as I build strength and balance and flexibility, I’m enjoying the practice.
I wish I could be like Rob, who practices on his own every morning. But I am a beginner. I need someone to take me through a routine. I need someone to remind me to flex my feet and drop my shoulders. I need someone to remind me to breathe. And so I’m grateful to Meagan, who runs the Monday night flow class I’m attending. (There’s that word flow again!)
And I’m grateful for Do Yoga With Me, a website with a huge variety of yoga videos, many of them filmed on the beautiful local beaches of Victoria! Even if I only have a spare half hour, I can still fit in a short yoga routine. Not only do I benefit from the good, clear yoga instruction, but I also get a reminder of how lovely my little corner of the world really is.
I’m stretching myself this year. And it feels great.