In anticipation of taking my first yoga class next week I have been researching all things yoga. If you take teacher training (I’m not!) you need to have a two year yoga “practice.” So my thought was, I’d better get me one of those!
You can’t “get” one. I know, duh, right? So, I looked for a yoga class to learn how to do this. Nope. All the classes are, like, execise classes. I don’t really know what truly defines a yoga practice but I know I don’t have one and my gut feeling tells me you can’t find it in a classroom or online. It is personal and sacred.
I finally found a small litle book titled “Home in Your Body” by Jay Fields. It is not a book of poses. I have books of poses and books of yoga anatomy and I even have a yoga video and the Gaiam app. But none of these things gave me what I had been yearning for. The book is a 28 day journey to having a relationship with your yoga mat at home.
The parallels to my journey to sobriety are astonishing.
Jaw dropping, disbelief that the words she uses to describe a home yoga practice describe the exact thought process of my sober work. Yes, yes, yes! Another gift from the Universe that I am moving in the right direction.
I read through the whole thing quickly, knowing that later I will go back and spend time with each days lesson. The instant I finished I pulled out my mat and had the BEST YOGA EVER! No video, no pose book, just me focusing on my breath and my body. I even did my own yoga nidra without listening to someone else’s voice. All right in the middle of the living room, after supper, kids close by playing xbox and the blinds open. Not one of these is how I had been doing yoga before.
In sobriety, I am also learning my “sober practice.” I can’t easily define it. I can’t watch a video or take a class or download the instructions. I do recognize when it’s right for me. I know it is about not being afraid of being alone with my feelings. Learning to listen to what I need and what feels good. What parts bring up anger or sadness. How to sit with emotions and breathe through them. This is my sobriety practice.
These same words are what Jay speaks of in her book on home yoga practice. It felt like coming home when I read it.
I was going to do some yoga this morning and it felt wrong. I kicked the dog off the couch and fell asleep in about two minutes. THAT is the PRACTICE of sober yoga in my life. See, it can’t be defined but when I listened to me and honored it, the answer was clear.