Do you ever get the overwhelming need to just move? To walk, run, dance, clean, sing, jump, or [insert your favorite thing here]? I have always loved movement and music. As a child I was always on the move, whether it was outside running around, in the dance studio, on the soccer field or in my room rocking out to Ace of Base (yes, I did that). You rarely saw me camped out in front of a TV. Movement of any kind made me feel alive and strong. It still does today. It makes me feel like I can conquer the world. And music is the perfect complement. I love how it can elicit emotions from deep inside and take me back into the past through memories.
Earlier today I was cleaning and doing normal Sunday morning chores with music on in the background and suddenly I was filled with this indescribable need to get on my yoga mat and flow. I didn’t even want to take a class through the online service I use (Yoga Download for those who are curious). I wanted to flow to my music, the tunes that inspire me most these days, and just go. Dance to my own rhythm. And dance I did. Boy did it feel amazing. Time just stopped and I was in my own little bubble. And now I am in a place to complete love, acceptance, peace and contentment.
Recently I have recommitted myself to my yoga practice. I did it for multiple reasons. I’ll be honest and say that I want to get stronger, challenge myself and get better. I want to try the advanced poses and someday maybe master them. I was rewarded today when I stuck my first handstand for five whole seconds. If only you could have seen the grin that was on my face and the tears that filled my eyes with happiness… My goal over the next year or two is to take a yoga teacher certification course and I know the work I do now will only better prepare me for that. But most importantly, I returned to my yoga practice for me. For my soul.
The past five months have been very hard for me. For various reasons I turned away from my true self and started focusing too much on what I thought others wanted. I grappled with the overwhelming need to be “perfect.” I have always equated perfection with being loved so I began thinking that if I found the perfect job, looked a certain way, that I would get what I always wanted. I was lost. Lost in a self-imposed prison of criticism, judgment and not feeling like I was ever good enough.
My worst fears (being alone and feeling unloved) played in my head over and over again. But instead of turning to yoga to bring me back out of it, I turned to what a lot of us turn to when we are feeling this way, food. Not only did it not help, it made matters worse. Whatever appreciation and love I had for my body before then pretty much flew out the window. Who’s going to ever love me now if I look like this? I was on this endless roller coaster that just never stopped. Sound familiar to anyone? We all have our own versions of the roller coaster.
Yoga has helped me get off that roller coaster. It makes me feel worthy again. Worthy of happiness, joy, love and everything else in between. That I am good enough exactly the way that I am. It makes me feel like everything will be okay, even if it is just Tucker and I cuddled up in bed at night. It makes me believe that, one day, I will make my dreams a reality if I just believe in myself and stay committed to putting myself out there. That one day maybe somebody will love me for me. I saw a post on social media recently asking to finish the phrase “yoga is _________”. I immediately commented on the thread and typed home. Yoga is home.
Now I’m not writing this to encourage everyone to go out and get a yoga mat and sign up for a class at your nearest gym or yoga studio. I am writing this to encourage you to find the type of movement that brings you back home. What you can turn to in order to come back to yourself. To inspire you, make you smile, make you cry. Our bodies crave movement. It gets our blood pumping, stimulates our minds (this whole post played out in my head the entire time I was doing my flow) and the breathing that accompanies movement brings fresh oxygen to our cells and organs.
If yoga isn’t for you, I encourage you to find the movement your body craves. You might be thinking “how on earth do I figure that out?” It might take a little bit of practice, but try a little bit every day to put aside the “I need to do [insert chore/obligation here]” and ask yourself “what does my body want do to?” Maybe it really wants to clean, or cook, or color. Do this over and over again and someday the inspiration will just hit you, like it did for me today.
~Peace, love and music~