Yoga

Introducing My Yoga Journey

Welcome to a my new feature! Expect to see posts about yoga and my practice of it every Tuesday from here on out. After just about a decade of practicing yoga, I have begun to really study it. It has been a bit of a journey to get to the place where I really want to share both yoga and my study of it with everyone.

My focus on the blog has been books up to now, but I want to bring my whole life to this place. Things have always been a balancing act, between the study of feminism, herstory, and the wonderful fiction that many women write but there are so many more balancing acts that we must do as people. And no, I won’t be making posts about the work/life balance that people love to fling at women alone. Everything is a balance.

I bought a house about a year and a half ago that had this stunning dining room, which is part of what brought about this change for me. I had been wanting a yoga room in the last few places that we had rented but my practice space usually had to share with my son’s playroom or our office. This time, I looked at that room and I knew that this was my yoga room. Finally.

Of course, it took some convincing for my husband to realize that we really did have the space to spare. Once we had a yoga room, he was enthusiastic about helping me decorate it and make it just right for us. I just love the light that comes in, even with the blinds closed as they are.

I decided on that line for the mural because of this quote:

Yoga is a dance between control and surrender – between pushing and letting go – and when to push and when to let go becomes part of the creative process, part of the open-ended exploration of your being

Joel Kramer, The Passionate Mind: A Manual for Living Creatively with One’s Self

As you might have noticed, I did also paraphrase this for the new tagline of the blog. Every wave of feminism has had those thins that they have chosen to resist and then those things that they were flexible on. We cannot control our world or completely surrender to it, but resistance and flexibility are key to progress, I think. I’ve been staring at that mural for about a year now and it prompted the change. I also read Namaslay last year which made me realize two things.

First, I definitely want to teach yoga in some capacity one day because I believe in it more than most things. Second, in order to do that, I have to study it more. I went to an immersion style teacher training in October. Since then, the idea of incorporating my yoga study and practice into the blog has been haunting me. I have a few yoga book I wanted to read but it wasn’t enough to review them. We need to talk about it.

Here’s the thing. Reading and yoga balance me out. They make me less crazy about all the things in the world. They make me better able to get up in the morning and face the day and want to resist all the powers in the world that are working against me. They make me feel like flying sometimes too.

And then I picked up The Goddess Pose by Michelle Goldberg and realized that I absolutely could not keep it to myself anymore. Balance, in all things, is essential. In order to resist, sometimes I have to be flexible, and nothing reminds me of that more than yoga. It also taught me that flexibility also requires resistance in order to be healthy, to not be painful. Everything in yoga is a push and a pull at the same time.

That said, my yoga journey is not the same as my journey in life, my struggle with accepting that I am feminist a few years ago, what to do about that on a daily basis now, the struggle to control my weight, or what exactly is going on with my religion these days. Some days, it’s a metaphor for feminism, some days it’s just about trying to finally nail that handstand, some days it’s just about relaxing and getting all my muscles to stop aching. That’s the truly great thing about yoga as an exercise. It’s anything you need it to be today and tomorrow doesn’t really matter. It’s about being present in what you are doing and knowing what you need.

So here are all my balancing acts, not just my study of feminism or herstory or my religion or the wonderful books that women have written. All of them.

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