Yoga is over-rated. Admittedly—my body feels great after yoga. And it may be the “way” to find inner peace or fitness for many. But after years of trying to fit it into my schedule, I finallyreleased the idea that yoga is my true calling. Mindfulness, enlightenment and lean muscles come to mind when I envision yoga, but the truth is that yoga was the easy default that I “thought” would “fix” me. It’s the “opt in” choice that sits on every commercialized corner in my location and it is accessible.
Hear me out. Yoga has its benefits and the ancient wisdom that comes with it is not to be ignored. In fact, I still feel drawn to yoga on some level and will practice it and pursue it when the mood strikes. And if YOU are authentically yogic and happy, then “Namaste” and “Sun Salutate” away. But what if you’re “not” finding your zen in a yoga studio or on your mat? What if you’ve tried it and wanted it, but it’s just not doing “it” for you?
Play with what enlivens you and causes a connection between you and all of life.
It’s my belief that we all need something that slows time and brings us into the very moment we are living. The moments where you see the sunlight streaming through the air and you feel the light breeze through your hair and the cool on your skin and and the rise of your chest. These are the moments you miss if you can’t connect with life. These are the moments you feel most alive, present and conscious.
People have passions. Your passion may not be your “yoga” or your “play”. Something that moves your soul, connects your heart to your thoughts and brings consciousness to a higher level is what I think of as my “yoga”. For me, it also has to include a physical, movement piece. But I don’t believe that is true for everyone. You are unique and what works for me – may not work for you.
My “yoga” is not something that currently includes a coach or a goal. It’s not something that feels regimented and forced. It’s not a “have to” and it doesn’t belong on my list of things to “check off”. It’s not about “looking a certain way” or “having” something.
My “yoga” fills all of my senses. It has breath and life of its own and it connects me with my childhood and forms a bridge to my present. It has a lifespan, emotion and needs. It has changed form in my life and has evolved into a partnership. It evokes compassion and care and is not always there to “serve” me. It was once a way to earn recognition through goals and awards and it used to include a coach and much more structure. But my need for recognition has vanished and my ego is no longer dependent upon outside approval.
My “yoga” is my horse. The journey of being an “equestrian” has transformed me throughout my life. Development on this path has included physical, spiritual, and intellectual elements that could have been learned SO many different ways. But I was magnetized to horses at an early age. And they have been some of my primary teachers.
I believe that as young children we are innately drawn to things because they resonate within our souls and touch the energy within us. I have always been drawn to horses and more generally—to animals. They raise my happiness quotient! And it was at a very young age that I was mesmerized from their presence.
What were you drawn to as a child? What journey through life is your “yoga”? Are you still looking for that journey to unfold?
My advice to you:
Reconnect with the fantasies of your childhood. How did you PLAY? The pathway to enlightenment can be through Yoga. It can also be through your “life” and through playtime. Connect with the experiences that help you feel most present. Allow your growth and evolution to occur. It is when we feel most stuck that we need to allow our energy to move.
I want to hear what you’re doing for playtime today. Find a different way to move and to experience the world in a way to release your ego and allow for laughter, presence and release. Allow yourself to let go of the “idea” that being mindful and awakened must be connected to Yoga. Adopt your playtime…and allow happiness to flow from your head to your toes authentically…as you FEEL it. And here’s the best part…your PLAY can change every single day.
Do what you want to do! Namaste!