why yoga patience

Why Yoga: An Open Thank You Letter to Heartaches and Hangovers

A few weeks ago, I woke up to a Facebook “On This Day” push notification, and it had me asking: why yoga? I’ve (mostly) enjoyed seeing what has transpired over the course of my decade-long Facebook life, and the sequence of August twelfths displayed a strong testament to the power of intention, patience, and progress. 

This particular progression feels like equal parts awkward-teen-photo-cringing and looking down from the top of a peak you just hiked…

  • 10 yrs ago…. “never drinking again”
  • 8 years ago… Posted a Carrie Bradshaw quote about getting my first solo apt
  • 4 yrs ago… Celebrating my first “big girl”  promotion at work
  • Present Day… Preparing to start Yoga Teacher Training 

Why Yoga

Sometimes it takes ten years to get to the point of action. 

The first time I realized I wanted to teach yoga was in my second year in college. After several party-soaked nights (because, you know, #YOLO), I would drag my serotonin-depleted body to yoga to regain a sense of self and counteract some of the self loathing and shame that was permeating my mornings. At that time, yoga was the only thing that kept a conversation with my body going, and it was by no means disciplined. But it was a space for self care. A space to have a real, honest, conversation with my body. A space to check in. 

Yoga revealed itself to me in my mid-teens at the Big Bend Yoga Center in Webster Groves. My friend invited me to a candlelit yoga class, and so we went. Leaving the studio, something had awakened in me. This quiet feeling rushed over me, and for a few minutes in the class, everything else just melted away. I didn’t have language for what I was experiencing, but I wanted to keep coming back to that feeling.

The Feeling of Yoga

What is that feeling? It’s a good hug from a trusted friend. It’s when something goes totally wrong, but the universe has your back and helps find its way to you serendipitously. The feeling of being in a house of worship and feeling the love and support around you as everyone sings as one. It’s being at a really good concert, and the entire crowd is dancing, moving together. It’s the sunshine warming your skin on a cool autumn afternoon. The feeling of being humbled by gratitude for waking up in your body, breathing, today. It’s the feeling of everything and nothing simultaneously. 

So why yoga? Why did it take me ten years to get to the point of actually doing my Yoga Teacher Training? Because I had a lot of heartaches and hangovers to heal from, to fortify my resolve. And while there will be more heartache and hangovers (less of the alcohol kind and now more of the vulnerability kind), I welcome them as opportunities to exercise courage and compassion. And the physical practice of yoga is a beautiful space to tone those muscles. 

Do you practice yoga? What kind of shifts have you watched in your life that required patience? Would love to hear from you!