One early morning in Ana Forrest’s recent intensives, Ana related a story about a young girl, the daughter of a friend of hers.
The little girl was screaming and screaming while pulling her hair with her hands. She continued to cry and yell and wasn’t making the connection that she was causing her own pain by yanking on her hair. So the girl got more and more upset and increasingly frustrated, still crying out in pain.
Ana paused at this point in the story. “Yeah, there’s a life lesson.”
Where I think our yoga practice comes into the story is becoming aware that we’re pulling our hair. We may still be yelling away, but slowly we start to make the connection that we are causing our own frustration and pain.
The next part of the story? We quit pulling our hair. Maybe not right away, but we start yanking less often and let go sooner. And maybe stick our tongue out about it.
Day 2 of Forrest Yoga Handstand 365: Badha konasana with penguin.
Awhile back, one of my mentor teachers, Willow Ryan, brought up a great question: “If you could could summarize in one word or short phrase what yoga means to you, what would it be?”
The word that popped into my head first was “connection”. I just know yoga makes me feel more connected to my breath, those around me, and the universe in general. Even my feet feel more connected to the earth as I walk out of yoga class.
I posed this same question to a number of Forrest yogis and this is what words they used to describe what yoga means to them:
The Practice of connecting to myself and others
Space to actualize intention
Letting myself be Home…At home in your body…At home with your mind…Safe, secure, peaceful. living in the present moment
A breath-deepening journey into love and compassion
Breath connecting mind body and spirit
Physical practice of connecting with Spirit
A practice where I can feel fluid and feel inhabiting my body with love
Healing and brightening up my mind, body, and spirit
Finding balance and connecting to spirit
Connection: connecting body, breath, mind and spirit
Inhabiting my body and spirit and developing my superpowers to live life with passion
Yoga to me is the essence of AUM. A lifestyle of consciousness through liberation of body, mind, and spirit.
Knowing that if you truly want to ever love someone, you must see love in ALL things.
What does yoga mean to you?