This is me. Age 15. Right before I found the practice of yoga.
I was a gymnast, albeit gangly, tall, and not fond of moving fast. Nevertheless, I believed I was going to be the next Mary Lou Retton until an off-kilter beam dismount landed me in surgery and left me with an arm full of metal.
I tried switching to ballet, but that was pretty awkward with an arm in a cast.
I wasn’t sure what was next, but the universe had the next door ready and waiting…
Exiting the downtown record store in our little town, I saw an advertisement for a yoga class. The next day, I found myself in a carpeted office doing yoga for the first time ever. A therapist in town offered yoga sessions at the end of her work day. Together we practiced every week: me, a couple she counseled, and her… my first yoga teacher.
That first class, she began with a pranayama (breath work) exercise. I wasn’t moving my body (in fact, there was little beyond breath work in that class), but, for the first time in a long time, I was actually in my body. I can still remember how it felt. It was like coming home. I could feel the truth of my body. I floated out of that class and knew it would be a lifelong practice for me.
Fast forward almost 30 years, many evolutions of my body and mind, and a series of yoga practices and trainings and this is still where I find home. The practice has evolved over time for me— beginning with these sweet days of old-school Hatha, then moving to rigorous vinyasa in the days of power yoga in LA, and, now, to sweet movement that moves my energy in the way I need it most on any given day. Sometimes this looks like a strong practice, but more often than not, it’s deep breathing, long holds, and gentle flow.
I am deeply grateful for this practice and genuinely believe we all need one. Not necessarily a yoga practice (although I highly recommend it), but simply a practice that calls the spirit back to center… back home.
What calls you home?