Casandra Barnes - The Blooming Yogini
So in class the other day, our instructor posed the questions, Why Yoga? Why the sudden popularity? Why the sudden demand? Why now? Why were we there?
Why was I there?
Answers began to quickly jump into my head...peace, strength, movement, transformation, inspiration, sweat, all of the above.
And still days later my long list of answers continue to roll in.
I'm not gonna lie, I first tried yoga for weight loss, for something new to my routine. After my first class was I transformed, was I enlightened? Nah, but i liked it. I continued to go here and there but then it became more frequent. Now, I don't know when exactly, but I do know yoga has changed my life, maybe even saved my life.
The above photo is from Summer Solstice, June 21, 2013, from the top of our local hospital's helipad. It may not have been the exact moment, but something inside me that morning definitely shifted and made a lasting impression and change.
I believe any time you can do your practice in nature, there is a deeper union, a connection to where we come from and where we will return. We get so busy in our day to day lives that we can sometimes forget to plug in and connect to nature. It brings me back to peace, grounds me, humbles me, and even challenges me.
So why yoga? Why now? Why me?
-The movement, the breath, these together make me feel alive. To be aware of these things we do daily. To do it mindfully, makes me feel awake, alive, and grateful. Yoga is a perfect balance of gentle and strong. Of push and pull, I find myself saying "i can" or "i will" rather than "i can't", and realized i'm stronger than i ever thought, and getting stronger everyday. Not just in body, but mind and spirit as well. It helps my breathing and mind when my anxiety creeps in. It soothes my thoughts when the anger shows up. It makes my will stronger when I feel like I'm losing control. It reminds me I never HAD the control, anyway, and to let go. To be more kind. To be more authentic. To be Love.
Why now, why did it click for me, when it did? I just know how I felt before, during, and after and I will do anything to keep that feeling i get when i practice and try to share it with others. I don't know if the timing was right in my life where i felt like i tried everything or if i was just more open at the time to serious change. But it clicked. It was an answer to so much more than my weight.
Well, I've always been attracted to movement of all sorts from ballet and jazz when I was a kid to African dance and modern in college, I love to move, this is true, but yoga lends a rhythm to my life, as well as a much needed stillness. And the gratitude that bubbles up in my heart, I'm so grateful it found me and I it. The way it makes me examine my life off my mat, encourages me to continue to grow. Yeah, i need that in my life. I want that in my life.
Once you have been awakened you can no longer turn a blind eye. Once you realize something about yourself or life you cannot go back to the way you had been living. For that would be living a lie. And to be your authentic self, to truly find who that is and have the courage to live it, how totally free you really can be, why NOT yoga, why NOT now, why NOT... you?
We are all works in progress, my hope is that we may all bloom to our full potential, to be our radiant selves, so that our light may brighten others.
A Blooming Yogini is someone on a journey to their authentic self, a union of mind, body and spirit to a more healthy, thriving , and vibrant you.
Live. Love. Bloom.