How Yoga Changed Me

Be The Change
Be The Change

Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

I came to yoga later in life. While I feel yoga is the answer to everything, I’ve been reticent to write a yoga tell all. I’ve secretly wanted to write a yoga memoir after reading my share of yoga confessionals, chronicles of healing, and inspiring tales of redemption. In truth, I’ve also read a fair share of histrionic, over the top narratives.

I’ve never written my yogagraphy,™ mostly because I’m a procrastinator, but also because I’ve never felt my story was a “can’t put it down” dramatic page turner. I’ve read so many tales of people who turn to yoga to overcome career reversals, sexual trauma, addiction, divorce, eating disorders, life threatening illness, serious accidents, and the death of family members or partners. These yogis hit rock bottom and climbed out of the abyss by the grace of yoga. Many authors credit yoga with helping them to climb high enough to reach the pinnacle of financial, romantic, or spiritual success.

I’m fortunate in that I haven’t been plagued by yoga memoir type devastation, but I’m unfortunate in that I feel I can’t compete. I’ve had the normal lows and blows of a typical life, but nothing that could translate into a best seller. I can’t even market my life experiences into a lucrative webinar where I give you the tools to overcome obstacles through yoga to live your dreams or at least put on a webinar of your own.

But I digress. All I have to do here is to testify about how yoga changed ME. I don’t have to claim I’ve overcome all my obstacles or that I am an inspirational visionary who channels my passion into TheYogarazzi™ brand yoga, a clothing line and green smoothies. Keeping it real, I’m just saying that yoga has given me rebirth.

I have been born more times than anybody except Krishna. ~ Mark Twain

Back to the procrastination thing, it takes me forever to get around to doing things. I am constantly making To-Do lists, calendaring, setting deadlines, and starting over. New Year’s, the Equinoxes, the Solstices, the seasons, the first of the months, the full moons, next weeks, and Mondays are all dates when I start over. All these reboots used to cause me almost paralyzing anxiety. What yoga has given me is the ability to relaunch myself over and over. Every day is a new day of rebirth.

Over these many years of yoga, I have had a consistent home practice, and I have not. I’ve dropped in on certain classes consistently, and I have not. I’ve gotten better at certain poses, and I’ve gotten worse and then better again. I’ve gone through times when I can pronounce adho mukha svanasana and times when I cannot. I’ve gone through phases of studying pranayama, meditation, sutras, yamas and niyamas, ahimsa, chakras, meridians, crystals, auras, mudras, healing touch, intuition, alignment, sequencing, and just about anything yogic related. I learn things and forget things until I relearn them. I’m always starting over, relaunching, and rebooting.

Yoga changed me in that I not only know but I feel every day is a new day. I know that if I can’t do a bind one day, even if I’ve done it before, I will do it another day. If I don’t organize my closet one day, I will another day. If I don’t remember not to get impatient in the Starbucks line today, tomorrow I may not only remember but actually not get impatient. One day of rebirth “yoga chitta vritti nirodha” will flow effortlessly from my lips even though it never has in any of my prior daily lives.

Yoga taught me that every time I step on my mat, it is a new experience. My practice is whatever I am able to do that day, but it won’t be the same every day. I don’t have to stress or feel dejected because I will get another crack at it the next time I am reborn.

This yogic opportunity of rebirth has carried over to the rest of my life. Yoga has eased my anxiety about my life. Of course, there are certain tasks that must be done and certain deadlines that must be met on specific days, but there are so many that do not. Just as the seasons cycle, the moon cycles, the sun cycles, and circadian rhythms cycle, I know I cycle as well. I can get back in the new cycle to the things left undone in the old.

Does this constant rebirth cure my procrastination? Obviously not, which is why my webinar is going nowhere and I’ve yet to write my “yogagraphy.” However, I have more chances to work on it. As Scarlet O’Hara, famously observed, “tomorrow is another day.”

Originally published at indyyogi.com.

The Yogarazzi
The Yogarazzi
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