The interesting thing is, when I first wrote my About page I talked about happiness and how yoga got me there. I talked about habits that stopped me from being happy, and how when I was sad yoga made me feel better.
And then, as the path deepened, I realized it’s not all about happiness. It is, but it isn’t. It’s really about Presence. It’s about Authenticity. And it’s about Truth.
If you’re in pain… if you’re stressed… if you’re tired or worn out or sick of the world… come to yoga. Just know that you might not feel “better” in the way that we all seem to think we need to. But come anyway!
What you’ll actually find (hopefully!) is a sense that all the messes, the weird relationships, the anxieties – all of that external stuff – gets to be soothed a little. It all gets quieter. YOU get quieter. And in those moments, you find who you really are: You are Presence. You are Authenticity. You are Truth.
Yoga and meditation are deeply experiential practices. That means that you can read books or online articles about them but you don’t know how they feel until you actually step on your mat or sit on your cushion, and do the work.
But that doesn’t mean it has to be hard! I like to approach yoga and meditation the same way I could conduct an experiment. I like to think of this work as “Reverent Curiosity.” What can you find out about yourself? What are you actually feeling in the moment? Where in your body are you restricted? Where are you open?
Tapping into our body’s sensations, and greeting them as beloved friends, you’ll find a wealth of wisdom, and you’ll get closer to yourself.
So no, I’m not always happy. I’m not always calm. But there’s a deeper sense of who I am, and that feels like the best metric of success.
My classes bring a little bit of everything I’ve learned from my teachers and my personal practice: awareness of the body and the mind, openness to the present moment, and frankly, not trying so damn hard.
If you’re not sure about yoga, I’ll say this: try it once. Book a private session or go to a class, but just get on a mat and see how you feel. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
I loved Whole Yoga in Denver from the start – it’s so open and accessible to every person, not just to the people who can do handstands in the middle of the room (not me!)
Whole Yoga is part of the Shambhava Yoga lineage, a heart-centered, meditation-focused practice that emphasizes paying attention to what’s happening in the moment.
I’m a lifelong student – yoga philosophy, spiritual traditions, movement + biomechanics, anatomy, psychology, embodied meditation… the list is constantly growing. For a list of what I’m studying and loving, click here.
Love Notes from Valerie
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