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One year ago today my life changed forever. If you would’ve asked me on March 22, 2010 where I’d be March 22, 2011, I absolutely would not have said in Dallas, Texas. Alas, here I am. Today I dedicated my practice to my former mentor who broke my heart and confidence with his words. It’s a wound that still hurts me to this day and, although I’m much stronger than I was a year ago, I still find myself drowning in fragility and self-doubt. I know that one moment flows into another and I am now where I need to be. I am using my pain to build a bridge for others to cross.

Today I wished him peace and I forgave him. I am grateful for the experience, even though it hurt me, and ask that God blesses him.

P/S I had a great class.

Believe it or not, this week has been rough on me because of the infamous “spring forward.” I find myself going to bed at the same time (which is now an hour later) only to wake up an hour earlier. However, the 6 PM Ashtanga Basics was amazing today because it was still daylight outside. I think the daylight was something that I’ve been missing since I started practicing again in January. It revved me up. For a second, I thought I was in Kino’s 10 AM mysore class.

The guy next to me just moved to Dallas and hasn’t done Ashtanga in 6 years. I saw him struggle and mentally beat himself up because he wasn’t where he used to be. However, there were so many things that he did effortlessly that I struggle with. Just goes to show 1) our bodies are all different and they all have their strengths 2) the human body is resilient and yearns to be worked, twisted, stretched, challenged, and released.

I dedicated my practice today to LaVada. She is moving to Corpus Christi in search of an environment where she can do what she does best: teach and fish. She felt under-appreciated here and my heart goes out to her because I know what that feels like: to work so hard and to be taken advantage of because you are never really seen. I will miss her, but I know that just as I am now in a better place altogether, she will be, too. ¡Qué Dios me la bendiga!

I have never felt more beautiful or more alive as I do after I practice. Today’s backbends brought me to tears. So many emotions rose up that I felt I couldn’t go on, but I did. I realized that if my practice were already perfect there would be nothing to look forward to. Movement is life. Standing still is death. I choose to move forward, to embrace the imperfection, to live.

God, please show me what the next steps are.

Today’s practice was dedicated to Anthony. May God smile upon you so that you may know love.

Today I had the most delicious practice thanks to Jarred’s massage. He worked out some of the knots along my upper back and it freed me. I have never felt so relieved. It was  as if I was practicing on a cloud. I felt amazing. This is one of those days that remind me why I love yoga.

Then came the backbends. For some reason, my left shoulder hurts like a mutha when I do backbends. The thought that came to mind as I came into forward bend was, “Where is my joy?” Lately I’ve been frustrated with my journey. I’ve always known what I wanted to do and I worked to make that happen. Now I’m unsure. The fear and uncertainty threatens to overcome me and I just feel lost.

But then it came: a thought. “There is never a time when I am not connected to God.” I felt a peace wash over me because I know that no matter what happens, no matter where I go or what decisions I make, he is always with me.

I do not need to know what tomorrow holds because I know who holds tomorrow.

Sometimes in yoga it’s so easy for me to take myself seriously and get down on myself. Today was one of those days. I found myself lamenting my body (why isn’t it thinner, more muscular, less flabby) and wondering if this lackluster guided practice is establishing bad habits in form and function. I wondered if I should try another form of exercise or a different style of yoga.

Then I realized: the honeymoon stage is over. My practice is real. My commitment will be tested. My faith will be tested. I will be tested. I will be called upon by my higher self to join it by consciously deciding to stay in this moment, to hold unfailingly to something greater than myself.

Yoga is asking me to be better than I think I can. It is asking me to have faith in myself, to accept my imperfections, and to love myself just as God loves me. I am flawed. I am human. But I have never felt more beautiful in my life.

Sunday’s mysore practice was … interesting. I felt like I could not wake up even though I had slept sufficient hours the night before. Half way thru the practice, I discovered that I wasn’t even warm. Everything felt super tight. I couldn’t focus. I felt weird. I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t even finish the practice. I felt anxious and frustrated. Is it because I’m used to 1) practicing at night or 2) guided classes? I’m not certain. I hate all the talking that goes on, too. It’s distracting.

Last night’s class was good in that I was able to finish and I wasn’t tighter than usual. However, I worry about skipping so many asanas in order to make the 1.5 hour deadline. Am I harming my practice?

Holding on to Guruji’s words.

There have been so many things I’ve wanted to say. Sometimes I find that when I have so much to say I end up saying nothing at all. February has been a hard month. I got sick again, this time to the point where I had to take antibiotics and stay in bed for days on end. The snow days didn’t help either. Couldn’t leave the house, couldn’t leave the bed. Obviously that really put a damper on my practice. I’m still trying to get into the swing of things.

Personally things are coasting. Work is good. I enjoy helping my guys with their career. I hope that I positively impact their lives, even if it’s only in a small way. I get frustrated sometimes, but at least now I know that my efforts really go to changing someone’s life.

One of the yoga instructors looks like my old boss. You can imagine how disconcerted I felt, walking thru the hall and nearly gasping as I happened to peek into a shala. I’m still not over it and I find myself wondering where this road will lead me next. I will always try to be comfortable with uncertainty. I still haven’t figured out how one can ever be truly comfortable with change. However, surviving last year lets me know that when God has something in store for you, nothing can stop it. It all unfolds according to his precious timing.

The relationship that I was hoping would pull through did not make it. . I was surprised that I found my heart to be so tender (caught myself almost crying), but it made me feel good to know that I’m still alive and that I am still capable of caring. There’s so much to the story, but it’s not really important to me to share.

I was able to practice yesterday and today, even though my upper back is stiff with tension. But I keep reminding myself of Guruji’s words and the fact that the only moment I have is now. It doesn’t matter what happened (or didn’t happen) yesterday or last week. I have right now to practice. I have the most beautiful opportunity: the gift of now.

I dedicated my practice to my students. May they find what they seek and may God bless their journey. I also dedicated my practice to my former boss. May he be blessed with peace.

I thank God for my practice and for this journey called life.

The last time I practiced was approximately 9 days ago. A snowstorm hit Dallas, I caught a pretty nasty cold and started my moon cycle. What an eventful week!  The weather channel predicted that today was going to be a nasty day as well, but, alas, when I awoke this morning, it was a nice winter day. So I got in my dirty car and drove to Dallas for practice.

I was told that practice after the third day of your moon cycle is acceptable as long as you don’t do any inversions. Does this include backbends? Random, I know.

I was able to bind Maricysana B today on the left side. Little by little. All is coming.

 

I haven’t practiced since last Thursday. This weekend I went to Austin and had a wonderful time with family and friends. On Monday evening, I headed out to the store to prepare for the storm that was headed our way. Unlike NYC, Dallas is completely unprepared for any type of inclement weather, so pretty much since Tuesday I’ve been housebound. Not to mention I’ve got a slight cold. Sometimes it happens. I can’t wait to begin again.

I have to be honest: I did not want to practice yesterday. If my roommate had not been tired, I would have gone to eat pizza instead. But he was, so I went. It was crazy. The entire time I couldn’t sync my breathe and my feet were cramping. The cramping was something I had never experienced before and it sucked. It was a very humbling experience and one of the reasons I love yoga so much: there is always room to improve and you will have off days.

I would like to say that this is the first week that I practiced 5 days in a row. I wanted to make this morning Day #6, but I have to be at work super early and I will be working until 8 or 9 PM. I can’t wait to try to achieve 6 days in a row next week!

But for today I am just content that I was able to practice. It was a great week!