9.01.2010

oh, september.

How do I love thee.  As if freshly-sharpened no. 2 pencils aren't enough, I recently discovered yet another reason to fall in love with Fall: September is National Yoga Month.  This was news to this self-proclaimed yogini, and I was tipped off to it by Real Simple's latest issue.

{image source}
It took me about 10 years to realize yoga's beauty and benefits.  There were so many tries and misses in my 20s, when I understood yoga only as a form of exercise (and an opportunity to spend some QT with my friend Erin, which, in itself was worth it).  Still, I didn't understand the value in being trained to inhale and exhale. 

Yoga to me, now, is so much more; it's a mental and physical workout that takes me to my intelligent edge, between comfort and discomfort.  It brings me joy and pain in ways that I have never felt before, and I'm fascinated by the challenge of movement, balance and posture, and how they intersect. 

I love the feel of my mat on the hardwood, and I love the feel of the hardwood on my toes.

Quite simply, yoga makes me happy.

It's said that who we are on the mat is a metaphor for who we are in life.  We're taught to be on the mat who we want to be everyday, and eventually, those beings become one.  It's a journey, where we are taught to still our minds, and speak our truth.  And... breathe. 

Yoga isn't for everyone, but it could be.  Maybe this is the month to find out. 

The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the same, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

--Rumi

{some practical yoga resources}
+ For new students: studios offering free classes and workshops through the month of September.
+ The basics: find the right workout for you, with this helpful guide that breaks down 20 different practices.
+ Yoga clothing, mats and other equipment online: Barefoot Yoga Co.
+ Not one, but two of my favorite stops for Yoga gear in the Manhattan Beach area.
+ My favorite yoga instructor: South Bay Yoginis.
+ My favorite mat (in wisteria-lilac, of course).
+ Blog love for yoga.

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