People always ask me about my yoga practice.
I started in May of 2013 and it has been one of the single most amazing things that I ever decided to do. It was just me, in my living room, on my $7 mat that I got from Burlington….yup that’s it. No fancy clothes, not expensive yoga mat, no hyped up overpriced yoga class. All I had was the basics and that was all I needed.
I started because I was constantly having anxiety attacks where I would either hyperventilate or just pass out. I did not want to be prescribed any medication so I sought out an alternate remedy. Many people told me I should try yoga because it could be a way for me to learn to control my breathing. I only had the intention of it being a relaxation/calming fixation….little did I know it would change my entire life.
Yoga to me is much more than just asanas (postures and poses). It’s a lifestyle. To me, the most important things that I have learned since embarking on my yoga journey is to BREATHE, to honor myself , and to listen to that voice in my mind aka my conscious or higher self. Trusting my instincts and how I feel have helped me out TREMENDOUSLY by helping me avoid certain unfortunate situations. Yoga literally means “to yoke together”. That is the lifestyle I try to live. Bringing it all together. Not looking down on anyone or feeling better than anyone else.
This has been the best life I have ever lived. This is the best body I have ever had. Seeing what my body can do has astonished me. When I first started practicing yoga, I couldn’t even reach my toes. Now I can do head stands, hand stands, balance, a plethora of arm balances, and much more. It makes me so proud of myself to see where I was and where I am now.
The flexibility in my physical body also crossed over to the flexibility of my mind. I am much more open to different ideas and I don’t stress things as much. I learned that everything happens for a reason and in the bad things I always try to see the lesson. It truly makes life much more bearable and better overall. I literally don’t stress things anymore.
Yoga has also helped me learn to love myself more. I notice that I have a lot more patience with myself, I don’t beat myself up as much, and I learn to love the process. I haven’t come to love my physical body 100%. There are still a few little insecurities that I have, but day by day I chip away at them. I see the goddess that I am. I see and acknowledge the power that I possess. As a woman, we are constantly put down. As a black woman, we are constantly disrespected and hyper sexualized.
In loving myself more, I am able to love people, animals, plants, any living thing more. My relationships on all levels have changed. I love more freely. I love deeper. I see the light in everyone and everything. It has caused my bonds to strengthen with some people while breaking other bonds with toxic or stagnant people. Yoga has caused me to grow. It has also helped me be a better friend and confidant to others.
95% of the time when I am practicing, I don’t have clothes on. Why? Because yoga is freeing to me and clothes are a restriction. I feel that my body can breathe and move as it wants when I am naked. Nudity to me is absolutely normal. It is natural. It is how we were born. Our society has turned it into something that is shunned and looked down upon. My practice isn’t sexual, but it can be if I want it to be. I have that choice. Being me in my most natural state is so liberating! You should try it. I do want to change the norm of what being naked in society means. That change starts with me.