07 September 2016

Warrior One

So many of my greatest life lessons these past few years have occurred, or who's meaning have come to me on my yoga mat. Perhaps it is because it is there that I can truly take the time to allow myself to just be.  To allow my mind to calm and for thoughts to come forward.  It is there on my yoga mat, in my own space that I focus on all that I have to be thankful for, even in some moments where gratitude is far, far away.  Yoga is one of the only times my body and mind can remain still and be present.  As with anything, there are obviously moments where I am all over the place and without focus, but for the most part it is in the studio where I feel as though I have become friends with myself again.  Where I have taken the time to forgive myself and others, to reflect on lessons learned and to begin again.  It is where I have ultimately found my center, a place in which to come back to when things feel all over the place. 

The past few years have been spent healing, growing, and, ultimately rebuilding. These years of searching have been spent both running, writing and in yoga.  I never knew that I had lost myself until I was faced with complete change and realized how far away I felt from my own "me".  Sometimes as scary as it has been to "start over," there has been so much opportunity to refocus, to re-find myself, and to practice gratitude for all that I have experienced.  I am grateful for the woman I am now because I am finally myself again - a stronger, focused and more loving version of the self that was scared and broken returning home.
 
There are a few teachers I find that reach me more - where their intentions echo either what is in my mind or force me to focus on thoughts that I tend to ignore.  Dan's class 9 times out of 10 finds me in tears by final savasana and more often than not, it begins in reclined cobbler.  There have been many moments where I doubted my own strength and my own worth over the past decade and those feelings seem to overcome me in that pose.  The hand on my belly and the hand over my heart, in which I recant to myself that I have a strong body, a calm spirit and an open heart.  More recently, it has been Warrior One where I can feel something larger than myself.  The lunge into my legs is a physical reminder of my own strength and yet the extension up through my arms brings me out of that physical space.  I imagine that I am reaching to the sky, and makes me feel like I'm reaching up to my dad.  I feel like my arms are up towards the heavens, giving him a hug.  This last class with Dan I felt him there with me - as time goes on life feels more "normal" without him but that saddens me in a way because it scares me to lose him, to imagine days where I don't feel him by me.  

It's in those moments where I realized that my life didn't need to be compromised. That by taking the time to come back to my center and fill my heart with light, that eventually I would be in a place to share that with someone else again.  That once I began to live the story of my life, that I would have the chance to ultimately be the author.  It is my own power that lies so deep within and it is my own love of self that will attract great love.  Dan's reminders were always to just simply stay present.  It's two very simple words but most likely one of the hardest things to do in life.  Remain right here.  Do not think ahead and worry about what could be or what could possibly fall apart.  Do not look back and get stagnant in what has already happened or mistakes already made.  Learn from the past and grow.  Enjoy the moment of right now.  Just be content with life as it is.  Watch each day unfold and welcome it, knowing that each new day is a new chance.  A new chance to be alive, to be grateful, to share love.  

So, as Dan steps away from teaching for a while I can only hope that experiencing his yoga instruction can stay with me as I keep coming back to my mat.  I am grateful for each moment in which he guided me along this path, each reminder to stay present and be thankful, every ticklish foot rub and the many amazing playlists.  A student can only be as good as her teacher can lead her to be and for each lesson, I am forever indebted.  The light in me honours the light in you Dan. Namaste. xo 

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