Building Blocks of Yoga...And Life
When we start our yoga practice, the path seems long and arduous. Mastery over the mind and difficult asanas can feel utterly unattainable. Setbacks or injuries seem like they will last forever. But, with dedicated effort, the practice days start to pile up. The days turn to weeks, and the weeks turn to years. We witness our own growth and begin to have faith in the process. The “building blocks” of yoga gradually stack up to create a solid structure of proficiency that supports our continued growth.
Today, I am viewing my life in this way.
After I got married in 2013, I felt lost for a long time. Not only had I parted ways with teaching Bikram yoga, which had given me purpose and fulfillment, but I also lost sight of my individuality by throwing all of my focus and energy into my relationship. I struggled to find fulfillment in my life outside of my marriage. To make matters worse, I had a lot of negative self-talk telling me I was no good for failing to make a contribution to humanity and for not living a life of purpose.
Now, though the complete picture is still forming, I have a much clearer idea of where I’m headed. I’ve listened to the voice within that tells me I’m meant to teach. Though I felt lost during my first few years of marriage, I was able to make small steps towards fulfilling my purpose. In retrospect, I can see how each of these steps (attending Miami Life Center’s Ashtanga Intensive, seeking out a trusted teacher to guide me, apprenticing, teaching class in my hometown, etc) has been its own “building block” to help me re-create a life of purpose.
So if your life feels scattered, know that each small step you take towards your dreams counts for something. Each action and even every misstep contain a lesson that will shape you into the person you’re meant to be. The more we view our lives this way, and stop fighting uncertainty or the sense that things aren’t going how they “should,” the more readily we align with positive outcomes and the realization of our dreams, purpose, and goals.
I truly believe things happen WHEN they’re supposed to, when we are ready, and that both misfortune and mistakes make us stronger, better people. We are simply building better versions of ourselves over time, just like how we become more proficient yogis each time we step on the mat. At times it may be necessary to break down the old, crumbling parts in order to build back stronger, so there is value in the breakdown. I just hope my words reach anyone who may be struggling with the self-judgment that can come in times of reconstruction: have faith that life is shaping you into something even better, preparing you for greater things to come. In time you will be reflecting back from a place of purpose and fulfillment, realizing that each roadblock you faced was actually a building block.