A Passionate Fling with Yogic Desire
Posted on June 1, 2013
It should be mentioned that it has been over twenty years since I was first seduced by yoga. It was a romantic fling that began with Iyengar, where my yoga virginity was gently taken upon a colorful handmade cotton mat. And with the help of bolsters, belts, chairs, and blocks, I gained experience in patience and technique through the use of my body and drishti (focal point, intelligence and wisdom).
Then I fell head over heels for Bikram, a hot and strong class that was a force that overtook me like a bad addiction. Bikram has the ability to change everything. He has a way of making you crazy, and will leave you lying on the floor dripping wet, exhausted, and wanting more.
Unfortunately, a sudden move caused a painful break-up between Bikram and I. Things do happen for a reason, and looking back, I understand now that I wasn’t ready for such an affair. I was rushing, and needed to slow down. Bikram was too young and egotistical for me, at the time, but I desperately hope to bump into him again someday.
An older and wiser Hatha class in my new home town served as a temporary bandage for my broken heart. This slow and nurturing classic was as therapeutic as a trip home. However, it wasn´t too long after my introduction to Hatha that I met Energy Yoga, a vinyasa class based on Ashtanga. I had no idea what Ashtanga was, but it was invigorating, and seemed to satisfy me more than the classic classes; yet, something was missing.
I started studying Ashtanga on my own, and applying the tips and tricks I had absorbed spongelike from books, DVDs, and YouTube to the led vinyasa classes I was attending. The sweat I had been missing from Bikram returned, stirring passion once again.
About a year later, my virtual guru David Swenson and his wife Shelly Washington came to Oslo to teach a course. Nothing could keep me from attending, and the result was insanely emotional. David and Shelly leavened my infatuation which gave rise to love. Through flow and flight, they inverted my senses and encouraged me to become more serious about my personal yoga practice. But I still felt empty.
Years of studying and practice go by, and I notice the thing I am desperately awaiting begins to slowly appear. Like blurry letters coming into focus, I see the answer becoming clear. It isn´t the excitement of passion I am missing, it is the commitment.
Yoga isn´t training. It is a way of life. And although I have heard and read this repeatedly, the ah-ha moment took it’s sweet time meandering through my super-thick layer of denial.
This realization prompts the weight to shift on my mental pendulum. And before charting a course through troubled waters, a sense of calm descends. I am ready.
For more Goodness and Grit yoga posts read: Extreme Yoga Under the Influence of Gold