I wouldn't say I'm religious, per se. I've always had some belief of a higher power, said my prayers in thanks and gratitude, not just when I'm asking for something and on occasion, gone to church.
Never one for commitment or sticking to routine, I was quite surprised to find a newfound love. A few times a week, I walk into the heated studio, breathe in the warm air and energy of those surrounding me, lay my mat down and bow my head in gratitude. Yoga is my new religion.
I may not be able to control the things that happen, or the constant thoughts that enter my mind, but for one hour a day, even when in that complicated head of mine, ideas and thoughts flit to and fro, I have committed myself to practice. They call it practice because it's exactly that; it is not easy to train your brain to turn everything off, to find your balance in body poses, to remember to focus on your breath and the present moment. It's an added bonus that it seems everyone who'd been doing yoga for years has a rockin' body and an even better attitude of gratitude.
In stark contrast to when I seemed to be losing my religion last year, by turning to darkness, drinking, partying, solitude, negativity, Yoga seems to encompass all things love and light. The mind and body connection seem to go hand in hand with the books I'm reading, my outlook on life and a higher state of consciousness.
It seems we are living in strange times that condition us to believe that external factors will fulfill a deep longing within for "something more." A material thing. To win. To have affections and attention romantically. To be the best. Most of the time, however, we find ourselves striving toward that which always seems to lie just beyond our reach. We are caught up in doing, rather than being, in yearning rather than awareness. It is difficult for us to picture a state of complete calmness and yet, in the quiet we reach a level of inner peace impossible to attain through outside means.
I won't be one of those ones who preach my newfound God. Or to get caught up in the cute name brand apparel that retails for ridiculous amounts of money to wear and be trendy. But I will say that when I enter that room, with likeminded bodies and souls around me, all sharing their energy and striving for the same purpose, I do feel like home. I feel right, good and at peace. I've practiced pilates and higher thinking for years, but never stuck to it.
I have a girlfriend who has been urging me to try this lifestyle for many years now. I often would chide her for being all hippie-like with her perceived witchery trickery hocus pocus hooplah. I now join her and likeminded friends for Yoga and we don't say a word to each other but are all there for the same purpose. It's not an instant or easy thing, changing your thinking. But when you really try, there is a definite shift. A shift maybe only noticeable to the very trained eye. But nevertheless, a shift. A shift in perspective, in conscious thinking and in being.
It's a good feeling. I would say Namaste, but that feels a little too cliche for a novice like me.
So for now, I'll leave you with, Peace.