We are all individuals, but interconnected.
We are all unique, but share so many things.
We are all on a journey; moving, flowing, evolving.
We all have our own Shade of Yoga, many shades, evolving shades.
Shade 1 – Beach Body
My first Shade of Yoga started with a DVD. One simple disc, in one little case. A piece of a better “get your beach body ready in 90 days” set. You know the kind. I got my beach body and a first glimpse into one of the many benefits of yoga; strength and flexibility. Yoga…toe…door…in.
Shade 2 – Rehab
If Beach Body got yoga in the door Rehab got yoga in the front room.
On a chilly evening in 2012, after barely a stretch and during a period of very little yoga in my life, I tore my Achilles while playing soccer. Rehab brought me back to yoga. Again this Shade of Yoga focussed on the body. But this time the focus had shifted from power and flexibility to balance and grounding. From fast and furious to measured movement with intent. This Shade of Yoga brought more presence, more body awareness and touched on yoga’s power to heal the body.
Shade 3 – Into the Mind
Power and flexibility. Presence and awareness.
With my body now entrenched in the benefits of yoga, I needed a lesson in the power of the mind. In March 2014 life gave me my next gift with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease leading to degeneration of the functioning of the central nervous system. While there were many life changes that came with this, yoga became a fundamental tool to access, quiet and still the mind. To allow it the space and freedom to heal itself. Asana, the power, the flexibility, the presence, the awareness all became tools to focus the mind in meditation. And so my Shade of Yoga went inwards, closer to the mind and the spirit.
Shade 4 – Current Awakening
I would call my current Shade of Yoga an awakening.
My last gift (to date!) all started with a few bad months, a few jolting, jarring simply heart stopping life changes all coming at once. So what does one do when life gives you lemons? Go to Bali for a 200 RYT of course! What a revelation!!
On the current leg of my life long journey yoga has become so much more than body and mind. My current Shade of Yoga; spirit, connection, reconnection, presence, awareness, power, flexibility, 8 limbs, chakras, bandhas, nadis, gross anatomy, eneagram, a yoga family, a newfound appreciation for all of life’s gifts no matter what form they come in.
There are many Shades of Yoga. My Shade is different from your Shade. My Shade today is different from my Shade yesterday and it will be different again tomorrow. I have learned to embrace my Shade everyday, to try everyday to live in presence with today’s Shade. And I relish the anticipation of discovering and rediscovering my Shade everyday.
What is your Shade of yoga?