First Meditation: Finding Practice

This month, I celebrated my 19 year anniversary with my love: yoga. When I began my journey, I was a high school student who loved her ballet and jazz dance classes and who always carried her notebook and something good to read. My body was growing up and so was my mind. I had just read Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha, and I was dying to take some yoga and see what the beginning of his journey looked like. Little did I know that yoga and Siddhartha would stay with me, their natures’ unfolding a little more each year.

For over a decade, I performed with several post-modern dance companies in the Twin Cities. I would come to rehearsals early and devote the lag time between call and performance by coming inside of myself, practicing my asanas and centering my movements with my mind. For me, the body and mind are truly connected because in that same decade, I was getting my graduate degree in writing from Hamline University. It seemed that every time a performance loomed, the more inspired I was to write. There was a lot of time to sink deeper into myself and the poses as I warmed up for performances 3-4 times a week. Conversely, when my dance companies would take breaks, my writing would dry up. I’d poke at edits and try to give myself assignments, but my mind could not connect to my muse.

All that time, I never considered that I was doing a ‘yoga practice’ let alone that my yoga practice informed my writing habit. However, when I retired from performing three years ago, I would often find myself in my living room, sofa pushed back and mat squarely in the center of the room. I’d drop into the wonderful yoga classes at my gym, and lines of poetry would well up inside of me as I breathed through svasana. A few months ago, with the guidance of three of my beloved teachers, I decided it was time. I am now in the final stages of completing my 230 hour Yoga Teacher Training. For the first time in three years, I am beginning to feel at home in my body. I am waking in the middle of the night, bursting with ideas to write about.

So here I am, in the twentieth year of my yoga practice. What better way to celebrate than to share it with you.