Yoga class will soon break for the summer and as part of the admin work, the teacher asked all those who had not filled out a form to do so.
One of the questions was, ” Why do you want to learn yoga?”
My daughter had no doubts when she filled her form a few months ago, her answer was fitness. Some of the other students had the same answer as well. I left the field in my form blank.
The question however has been playing in the background today.
I began yoga class a little over 6 months ago and a home practice about 4 months ago. I started class to help fix my neck since it was interfering with my running. The neck still acts up sometimes but I can feel the psychosomatic nature of the discomfort. I see how imbalance in any form can trigger it.
Initially everything hurt and I would be sore the following day. The class seemed to be hurtling at breakneck speed and I felt woefully incompetent. By the time I figured out what was expected, the class had moved on.
In one of the classes, the teacher said that we would be going up to 75 Surya Namaskars by Jan. There was no way I was going to be able to get there without building a certain level of stamina so I started doing a hotchpotch of asanas and Surya Namaskars.
I would repeat whatever I could remember of class and end with Surya Namaskars.
Slowly, I started to see it not just as a physical practice. Getting into the final pose did not matter as much as how I was getting there. I started to feel my body and sense the movements and actions. Some days it comes easy and on others I struggle. Yet, I have been able to persist. This ability to get back again and again came from running. I like to consider running as one of my niyamas.
Today I practice to get stability and flexibility in my body, make it healthy so that I can continue to explore the other limbs of yoga in my day to day life. Somewhere there is a pause between thought and reaction which allows me a little space to be present in everyday moments.
I go back to class simply to soak in all I can to take back home to practice. It is my school where I learn new things and get tips on how to explore further in my homework.
I go back to class for the little gems of philosophy and ayurveda scattered between the instructions. I take these home and open my texts to read and study.
Why do I want to learn yoga?
Because it has opened my heart.