What brings you to your mat? This may be too personal for some, but I thought it may show us how connected we truly are.
I first tried yoga when I was younger and my mom had this 1970s record. It was hot pink with a woman in a black leotard named Claire Stern. On the record she would talk you through the class and you could look at the jacket inside the record to have a visual reference. I remember in 7th grade, giggling with my friends as we tried to rest in savasana. Little did I know what an impact it would have on me 20 years later.
Why I practice yoga now is a bit different. Now I feel like it is not an option. I get on my mat for several reasons. I have always struggled with anxiety and perfectionism. Why do something if it can’t be perfect? When I discovered Max’s classes, all that left me. Finally, I knew what it was like to have a mind that would rest peacefully. The inner critic was gone (at least most of the time). I left yoga for a period of time after Henry’s birth. Then I saw how much I needed yoga. It took an acupuncturist and daily yoga practice to get me out of some pretty awful habits of mind. Since then, my habits of mind stay relatively even keeled. My yoga practice keeps me very well tuned in. Now, if I feel those thoughts spiraling in, I know I need to slow down and practice more.
One further reason that I practice yoga is that it makes me a better mother. Before reacting when Henry is whining for the 100th time about not having dessert, I can take a deep breath and speak calmly (most of the time). When Claire has me up at 5:30 in the morning to eat, I can look at her with gratitude and treasure the quiet moment we share together. Mother Teresa says the most important thing we can do is love our children since they are our future. If this is true, my time away from my kids doing yoga could, in fact, be making our world a better place.
In the words of Max, “May our practice serve to heal us and all those we touch in our lives.” So, now it is your turn… Why do you yoga?
You may also enjoy this You Tube video of Max as the keynote speaker at a yoga conference in Malaysia- it is called “Why Yoga?” Click here for the video.