By Kim Nelson
I remember as a child my thoughts of yoga as intriguing and mysterious. As I got older these ideas evolved into a vision of yoga involving standing on one’s head, sitting in the same position for extended periods of time and mental concentration exercises that led to an intangible experience called meditation.
I knew there was more to it. I just didn’t know what it was. Eventually, armed with uncertainty and unfamiliarity, I ventured into my first yoga class. What first struck me most was that in a roomful of people, I could find my own place of privacy, solace, peace and profound silence. I never thought that I’d find that among other people. To me, that was something that could only occur if I was alone with no external stimuli. If I was perhaps in a bubble or if I had learned the mysterious, elusive art and science of meditation.
Yet, here I was having an experience different than my preconceived notions. There was something to this. It reached me and so began my journey. Almost five years later, I’m still practicing yoga, still learning and it still reaches me, still challenges me to know myself and to be true to myself.
Here are some of the things I have learned along the way. I can breathe. I can be quiet and still and be with myself. I can listen. I can become aware. I can feel. I can understand. I can surrender and let go. I can really breathe. I can be.
Our physical bodies are inextricably connected to our entire being in this human experience. I did not always believe this. Practicing the physical postures of yoga was my starting point to tuning into myself in a new way, opening doors to self awareness that had been closed.
Yoga has certainly branched out in a myriad of directions from its Sanskrit roots dating back thousands of years ago to the Sutras, the Upanishads and the Vedas. It has been through an evolution and continues to evolve. Yet what remains constant is its essence, what it always was, a path of discovery, a way to connect to who we really are and the divinity from which we all come. Namaste