The recovery slogan “don’t quit before the miracle” also applies to my yoga path. I’m finding the longer I keep coming back to my yoga mat, to my spiritual community and to my heart, the easier and deeper my life gets. If I had given up on my yoga practice the first time I couldn’t get into a pose, I would have missed the juicy, mystical part of the experience.
When I first began taking yoga classes at Kashi Atlanta more than 10 years ago, I was not in the best shape physically and not very flexible. After the flow classes, I usually needed a nap and some ibuprofen. But despite my achy muscles, I found a new level of joy and excitement in myself that I only noticed when I did yoga.
Gradually I began to explore what else Kashi Atlanta had to offer. I got involved in the Street Meals program, delivering lunches to homeless people every week. I started showing up at Swami Jaya Devi’s Spiritual Growth and Meditation class. And in 2008,I took the Classical Yoga Teachers Training, which amped up my yoga practice and led to my becoming a member of the satsang at Kashi. I met my guru, Ma Jaya, who named me Surya Mayee (Sun Mother) and I went to her ashram in Florida to study Kali Natha Yoga in 2010.
Now I live in spiritual community with some of my gurubai in Atlanta and I teach two classes a week at the ashram. I am still on this journey and there is so much more to learn and to let go of. But if I had quit before the miracle, I would never be as free as I am now.
Everyone has his or her own pace in life. I’m a classic late bloomer. It seems to fit for me. So if you are just starting to learn yoga, don’t worry if you don’t get it all in the first class or two. I invite you to keep coming back and take it at your own pace one day at a time. Allow the depth of this ancient wisdom to grow inside of you and change your life. For me, that is the miracle.