Why do Yoga?

How Yoga Became a Catalyst for Change...

Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom to climb back on top and see the bigger picture. The years proceeding my divorce after almost a decade together were undoubtedly a challenging time for me. I don't want to dramatize my situation or create any attached narrative to my story to help build my case, which we so often do as human beings, however, the life I had imagined for myself, had completely turned upside down. I found myself completely lost and scared, as change so often does to us. I tried everything I could to get through the feeling of impending doom that would envelope me in the most unpredictable ways: on my way to work, in my classroom, or at 3am in the morning. My friends and family could only be there for me so much, and rightfully so. As gracious as everyone was or seemed, this was a knot I had to untie on my own. So I turned to where I felt most comfort, and at times, discomfort...my yoga mat.

I had first attempted yoga twenty years ago for the first time while enrolled in my acting classes in my early years of University. A wise professor used yoga as a way to not only set the tone in her classes, but to connect deeply into the world of our characters in which we explored. It served us well, both on and off the stage for it helped us stay grounded. Therefore, it wasn't a surprise I turned to yoga during a major turning point in my life. Yes, it became an addiction, but as we all know, there are worse things to be addicted to. Yoga became my companion. The substitute for the companion I had been accustomed to for almost a decade of my life. Sometimes I left my mat feeling more sad then when I went in, and sometimes I left feeling like a rock star , the new and improved me, ready to take on the world. I had many bouts of up and down. Yoga and meditation was an accessible tool I could turn to, which turned out to be a catalyst for change-the change to get my two feet firmly on the ground again, after an emotionally, physically and mentally charged life event.

Yoga and meditation provided me with the silence and space I needed to regain a sense of calm and stillness, as I had previously been trying to fill my days with "busi-ness", filling the emptiness engrossing me. It allowed me to cultivate compassion towards myself over the thoughts and feelings of failure and loneliness I had been narrating to myself. Yoga was my "go-to", my shoulder to cry on, my therapist, my 'no-bullshit' coach, my cheerleader, and my window to my soul. It was a soft place to land during and after the turbulence.

I don't believe time heals all things. I believe it is what you do with that time that heals all things. And what we do with that time is a choice. Change doesn't happen at once. It happens in small conscious steps. Those small steps translating into small victories that eventually get you back on your two feet. Only then can you see the bigger picture.