Inspiration is a big part of what I've been writing about lately. I want to feel inspired by the practice of yoga as I did when I first discovered it, and when I first dove headfirst into my teacher training at Sonic back in the fall of 2009.
This week has been full of it - I started practicing at Laughing Lotus which I've thoroughly enjoyed, although the first class was jarring because I wasn't used to their fast-paced asana style. I've since relaxed into it and really enjoyed the studio and it's philosophy for its fun-loving and unabashedly devotional, silly, loud self. I think it's the kind of lighthearted yet intense approach that's perfect for what I'm seeking right now. I've also rededicated myself to my personal meditation practice, very slowly building myself back up.
Most importantly, though, I've been inspired by my oldest friend, who lives across the pond in London. We're very different people - different from each other and also very different from the people we were when we first met over 10 years ago. He has decidedly and intentionally never been a yogi - claiming everything from being too inflexible (that's like saying you're too dirty to take a shower in my opinion!) to not being into anything with an ounce of, as he'd put it, "mysticism." (We'd be more likely to call it spirituality, I think.) Funnily enough, though, he's been a vegetarian since he's been a teenager - something lots of yogis would consider a prerequisite to the practice, but something I've never been.
Well, after taking a class with me with one of my very favorite teachers when he was visiting me this spring for the wedding, my beloved, skeptical, inflexible friend...may have enjoyed himself. Never one to make a big and obvious fuss about things, he very quietly, discreetly, and adorably told me that he liked it, despite feeling like a fish out of water.
After going back to London, he and his best friend back home found a yoga studio close by where they each live and started going! In all of our years I never would have imagined it, but you just never know how people will change. He still can't believe that I voluntarily eat vegetables and go for long runs - it goes to show you can always surprise people, even the ones that know you best, and even yourself.
Corresponding with him lately about the different yoga classes he tried (we recently confirmed that I was right about him needing to avoid Ashtanga...oh, how I feel his pain!) has been so special and inspirational to me. I don't think it's an accident that he's discovering yoga for himself right at the time I'm feeling a desperate need for the most basic reconnection with it. Through his own unique experience, I'm recalling my days as a beginner and what the practice meant to me. Even though he's coming at it from a totally different time of his life and even though he's different from me in so many ways, yoga is still giving him something important enough to keep him coming back to class.
That's what it really all comes down to - if you keep coming back to the mat, you'll keep finding reasons to stay. And the rewards just keep coming.