Love is like that sometimes, isn’t it? We can’t always be with those we adore. In some cases, we must spend time apart to make advances. The logic is twisted but it’s the spaces between that bring us back to the same wavelength. And help us determine we absolutely complement each other. Below, a little on (yogic) love.
Happy Valentine’s Day. It’s been seven years together and what a sordid affair it’s been. Remember that love letter I wrote to you two years into our courtship? Well, I’m feeling nostalgic and slightly sentimental today, which is why I wanted to follow up with a similar note this year.
I itch to express all sorts of revelations I’ve learned in our time together. I still don’t know how you wrapped me around your little finger, taming this spirt long enough to show it all you have to offer.
You know I wasn’t convinced about getting on a mat and breathing my way through sixty to ninety minutes of
static stretching. Yet, I became committed when I learned of the countless ways to practice yoga. That insight is what prompted me to level-up our journey and spend several months together in the south of India.
Looking back, I’m surprised I went all the way with you. We barely knew one another even though we’d hooked up a few times in the past. I was a player, having started with Hatha then moving to Power before shacking up with Sivananda for a little while. When that didn’t work out I messed around with Iyengar and Forrest. Let’s not even get into my one-night stand with Bikram.
Really, don’t remind me. The latter was a complete and utter disaster.
It was my threesome with Kundalini, Ashtanga, and my own mish-mash of vinyasa that changed everything. The arrangement made the most sense. There, I improved my practice and incorporated what I learned in other parts of my life. Aside from stretching me out and toughening me up it subtly implored me to turn inwards. Your patience and faith in me are why, seven years later, here I am—still pushing my perfectly imperfect body through seventy-five ingloriously sublime minutes.
Naturally, it took us years to settle down but I’m glad we did. Inspired to learn as much as I could, I travelled deeper into the asanas, sutras, and light work that is part of most yogic traditions. A moving mediation (long before savasana) you are one of the ways I keep the incessant churn of my monkey mind under wraps. As time passed, I got more out of letting go and sharing you with others instead of holding on too much. The exercise taught me there is enough for everyone, and there are always choices to be made.
And I can continually redraw my boundaries, regardless of the situation.
Aside from all the heart-warming whimsy, however, we’ve had our low points. We’re not masters at Love and periodic uncoupling is normal, this is a relationship after all. On some occasions, you asked too much of me. (Remember when I tore my hamstring clear from the attachment? Yeah, I do too.) On others, I pushed you to the sidelines because I needed a break or wanted to try something new.
The secret is you keep giving me the space to walk away, sometimes even putting a hand on my back to offer a push. At first, I loathed these dismissals until I realized you did it to show me there’s a whole world out there, outside of yoga. I might have burnt out sooner had you not done it. Without your guidance, I’d don’t think I’d still be ambling along, at my own pace, down this yogic pathway.
Love is like that sometimes, isn’t it? We can’t always be with those we adore. In some cases, we must spend time apart to make advances. The logic is twisted but it’s the spaces between that bring us back to the same wavelength.
And help us determine we absolutely complement each other.
So here we are, at the crack of dawn on Saint Valentine’s day—with me ten minutes out from dragging my ass to your 71-inch altar. I’m tired and a bit irritable but still look forward to seeing what this body is up for. Each day is different, which is part of the magic. Once in a blue moon, I nail the splits. When the stars align, I hover for two sweet seconds in mayurasana. Regardless of the outcome, I always cherish our meetings, Yoga, and never, ever, regret them.
It’s one of the few times in the day I’m able to just be. Me. It’s the only occasion where I can be completely candid.
And yes, I might be getting a bit of side-action with running. I’m totally having a dangerous liaison with boxing. But I do it because you seem to fundamentally understand that love is about freedom and not restriction. I assume that is why you let me explore and quench my curiosity. Without someone like you onside, I’m not sure I’d be where I am now, which is a place where I’m utterly convinced anything is possible when it comes to this mind and body.
If you ask me, Yoga, we’re in the throes of a pretty epic love story.
Eternally (regardless of incarnation),