Community. Gratitude. Hope. Kindness. Strength. Vulnerability.
What do those words mean to you?
For me, they are a small part of the feelings I went through during Yoganuary. I discussed it a bit in my first post this year, and I shared the journey on Instagram every day, but I want to talk about the emotional journey it took me on briefly.
To most people (and I certainly applied here), yoga is about the movements and postures, maybe even the strength that they require. In reality, at its core, it’s about everything but that.
First, this month-long journey with the Soul Sanctuary gave a look at the various types of yoga and breathwork/meditation. It was truly about connecting with who you are as a person and really learning to love yourself and embrace exactly who you are, especially in the moment. The whole month, every practice, was spent really tapping in to those words and learning to believe them.
I’ve mentioned in a few posts now that I’ve been working on the concept of loving myself exactly as I am and letting her shine. Despite that work, I can honestly say yoga opened me up to the realization that I wasn’t fully embracing myself as a whole. There are so many tiny pieces I still need to love. The simple art of learning to love who you are can be profound. I can recall a moment, sitting in meditation where Cat told us to wrap our arms around our knees and hug ourselves as though we were hugging someone we deeply loved. That part was easy. Then she told us to take that love, those emotions, and give them back to ourselves. I broke down in tears. Though I try to embrace myself and admire all of my qualities (good and bad), I don’t give myself nearly enough self-love. I spend most of my time giving to others and doing for them, wanting to make them happy, that despite my best efforts, I forget that I deserve the same effort.
How often do you step back and appreciate yourself for who you are? How often do you give yourself the same depth of attention to give to others?
I’ve also learned to accept my vulnerability as a positive. It’s no secret that putting yourself out there for others to see can be scary. I think I will always wonder whether people appreciate what I share, hate it, just don’t care, etc. I’m only human, after all. But going through these practices and joining a community of others doing the same, well, it drove me to keep sharing and hoping that it inspired others. That’s how we grow, isn’t it? We put ourselves out there for other people to know and love, and even in the case that they don’t, we try to love ourselves anyway. We continue to focus on the light within us and see how far we can shine it outward.
That’s always been my desire, to shine my light for others to see. Not because I want to be in the light, but so they can know it’s possible to use the light within you to do whatever your heart desires.
If you have never tried yoga, give it a go and see where it takes you. If you have/do yoga let me know what it’s done for you!