I AM YOGA by Jess Ryan

July 02, 2013 at 12:13 PM



I am yoga.

I would love to say, “I am yoga. I am an enlightened being connected and at peace with everything happening in the world.”

But, in all honesty, I am not

In fact, at this moment in my life I am. One. Hot. Mess.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am blessed in a lot of ways.  But, I am having one of those years.  I know you know what I am talking about – the stuff country music songs are made out of; break-ups, dogs running away, loved ones dying too early, moving, prison escapes.  It’s a perpetual pummeling of life events.

A lot of days I am exhausted and I wonder where my yoga has gone: Is it behind the 3rd cup of coffee I’ve had this morning?  The deadlines I am missing? My sadness?  My impatience?  Under the pile of cat puke I stumbled/slid into at 3AM?  Is it in the (gasp) microwave meal that I’ve resorted to eating because, frankly, that’s all I have time for…and there has to be something enlightening in all those chemicals, right?

About 15 years ago I was in a similar state - tired, overweight, seemingly hopeless, and lost.  Since coffee and alcohol weren’t doing the trick, why not try yoga?  What I have learned by consistently stepping on that mat is that yoga is messy (and not just the awkward poses, seemingly strange breathing, and my propensity for knocking over water bottles and practicing in a damp puddle of props.) Being present, aware, focusing below the surface, feeling – actually feeling - breathing, moving through something instead of living it from the edges.  Messy.  Stuff.   Life is messy.  I am messy.

But, those of you who’ve been coming to your mat over and over again know yoga is beautiful. 

Yoga is the space we give ourselves to become aware, change, stay the same, love, hate, grow while holding the pose.  It’s not about the pose itself.  Yoga is how we embody life. 

A lot of days I never step foot on my mat, but what I am learning is that the process of yoga is the process of life.  Depending on my teachers, some days I get to practice poses that I love.  Some days I get to practice poses I detest.   How I choose to embody my poses, my days, my life is up to me.

I am yoga.