Enjoy This Rest—What I Learned From Yoga Today

Enjoy this rest,” my yoga teacher encouraged, “just like you enjoyed the experience before.”

Today I brought my mind and body back to the basics. I let myself enjoy simple, basic yoga poses with no judgment. No critique. There is a way of “dancing” in a yoga pose even when completely still. It’s a posture of ease and love. A state of being 100% present in each posture. Not muscling your way into or out of it. Not straining to be better. Not trying to find a certain state of fitness or stressing about cardio.

This is where it all started with yoga for me. Not in a hot room, though that was a beautiful experience that brought beautiful things to my life, but in a certain state of mind in my humble living room, feeling tree for the first time in my life. Holding a pose that brought stillness and awareness to my mind. Realizing, in the act of doing a simple pose, that my body could experience grace and strength at the same time.

That I could feel both ease and heat.

That I could be at rest while my heart rate lifted.

That by reaching, stretching, and holding, I could change from chaos to peace.

From anxiety to calm.

From panic to focus.

Yoga is a state of mind.

Something beautiful happened. My energy re-awoke. My love for my practice was rekindled. And suddenly I was doing wheel, just for a few seconds. When I started my practice, I knew I was too tired to do wheel. Too out of practice.

But here I was, hands and feet on the ground while my heart reached for the sky. Back arched but strong and supportive, shoulder blades squeezed together underneath me.

Ease. Grace. Love.

These were my words for today’s practice. I knew I was exactly where I needed to be — not in a studio at 105 degrees perfecting rigid poses. But here in my home by my fireplace practicing ease, and grace, and love.

By rejecting judgment and embracing grace, I grew much more in that yoga class than I otherwise would have.

I accomplished wheel.

“Enjoy this rest,” Dave Farmar, my teacher, said after the intensity of wheel, “just like you enjoyed the experience before.”

bridge pose

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