A few months ago I was talking to a friend about yoga – she is a teacher, and just a beautiful soul that I felt so lucky to encounter on my travels. I had spent the day climbing, and when I wandered back to the campground she was practising by some trees; all beautiful flow and strength and loveliness.
“I really need to practise more,” I remember saying, wistfully.
And she said “climbing IS yoga! You just practised all day.”
We had many more in depth discussions about this, but just this simple sentence resonated so deeply with me. In Costa Rica at teacher training, when we talked about the breath, and meditation, I would always think of that feeling when climbing. Just breathing, one movement at a time. The moment at the top when you take a deep breath and feel sososo alive and lucky to be there.
And so after all these weeks of studying and practising, what is yoga to this little yogi climber bear?
Yoga is: being kind and patient to yourself even when you are scared or frustrated. It’s taking the time to really breathe in and breathe out. It is not being able to keep from smiling in a headstand. It’s laughing when you fall and knowing you can get back up and try again. Yoga is being honest with yourself, and others. It is stretching your body, and treating it gently. Yoga is living in the moment but looking toward all the big adventures of the future with a hopeful heart.
Yoga, for me, is happiness and backbends and climbing and sunsets and sitting in a subaru with a good friend, drinking a beer and watching the last of the evening light fade out of the canyon.
(Right now I am in Colorado, climbing and doing yoga and breathing the fresh cold mountain air and drinking coffeeeeeeee mmmmmm!!)