My first introduction to the practice was thru that of asana - the third limb of Patanjali's 8-limbs of yoga. Quite simply translated - it means - 'to sit'. To find stillness within the structure of the pose. To find a comfortable seat within the discomfort. To find the ease in the un-ease.
To stay present. To connect. To observe.
I began with a beginner's body and mind. Every one of the poses was new - stretching and testing my comfortable edge....challenging every fiber of my ordinary being. I learned to feel. I learned to believe. I learned to trust in the process. And - most important - I learned to love the practice of simply showing up...of opening up...of allowing my body and heart to lead.
I learned to breathe. Longer and slower and deeper than I'd ever breathed before.
That first introduction happened well over a decade ago. The physical - asana - practice has become a part of what I do - everyday - without question or thought or doubt. The edge that first challenged me keeps moving - deeper and deeper and deeper...and farther away. What was once simple has now become complex.
It's not just the practice of asana. It's all 8-limbs combined.
It's my body...my heart...my soul...my mind.
This asana practice has become my outer expression of my inner harmony and peace. It's become my space in which I connect with my center...my ground...my creativity and innermost self. This seemingly simple asana practice is where I've found home.
And now - with that asana practice as the foundation - I find myself stretching and growing into a new creative edge. Testing my mind. Pushing its boundaries. Challenging its self-limiting beliefs. I'm seeking out that comfortable seat...that ease within the unease...and the prize that abides right there in the heart of the pose.
I show up everyday. Step by step...breath by breath - I see my new projects slowly unfolding.
The lessons I've learned on my mat - I carry with me into this new land of book-making and other creative endeavors. Like asana - it's all a one long vinyasa....a flow....a practice....a new and uncomfortable seat.
In the end - it's all yoga. Isn't it?