Yoga is not a sport

The other day a new student said to me, "I'm not very good at yoga." There are many people who think the main way to qualify a yoga experience is by their physical flexibility or strength. You will definitely strengthen the body and increase your range of movement. However, this is just one aspect of the practice. The beautiful gift that yoga gives us is it introduces us to the present moment. With each conscious breath we meet ourselves, then we begin to accept who we are.

Growing up an Asian female in a predominantly White community I wanted to look White. After practicing yoga for about a year, I came to love, respect, and value my own body. There is a peace and confidence that comes with acceptance. I accepted I was never going to look White. I accepted that this body is the only one I have, and it's a wonderful and powerful tool for transformation!

Back to the student who apologized for "not being good at yoga." I smiled at her, looked at the class and told them, "Yoga is not a sport, yoga is not a competition. It's bigger than that. Yoga is your life. Yoga is a qualitative transformation where you act from your whole self. Now, let's start from there!"

In gratitude,

Lora

Coming Home

Five years ago I was certified as a yoga instructor & began teaching. This past week I couldn't help but think of the hundreds of students I've taught over these five years. Each & every one of those students I still feel a connection to.

A student told me last night she was "still a beginner" & in many ways I still view myself as a beginner, still learning as I travel down this yogic path. I have been so blessed by wonderful teachers and students along the way. Yoga has given me back myself. In the years prior to yoga I got so far away from who I knew I was.

For me, each time I step in front of a class is a small miracle. I have always been quite shy and content to sit back and let others take the spotlight. There have been so many opportunities I've let pass because of not confronting my fear of speaking. And so I marvel at the fact I'm even writing about teaching for five years! The only explanation is this: love. I love yoga. I loved it even before I fully knew what it was. Years before I ever stepped onto a yoga mat, I would buy yoga magazines. I'd read through them cover to cover, looking at each picture, reading each article. When I finally stepped onto the yoga mat for the first time, I knew I was home. I knew it would be a place for me to return to, to open up to, to surrender to.

I feel uniquely blessed and privileged to have students to share this wonderful practice with. I love hearing stories of how yoga helped someone heal, or helped them grow stronger, or feel better about themselves, or feel more at peace. A student said to me, "Thank you for sharing your gift." But, I really feel grateful to have students to teach, to share this sense of home and to extend it out.

In gratitude,

Lora