I’m one of those people who was athletic as a teenager but then came to a roaring halt once I was out of school. I still walked a lot – but I didn’t do any regular exercise or play on any teams. Twenty years later, I woke up and realized that if I wanted to remain supple and mobile I’d better get moving.
I found that I actively liked yoga and began going to a yoga studio 3-4 times a week. It felt great – I loved how yoga engaged my brain as well as my body.
Slowly it dawned on me that although I still felt physically great after practice, and my mind was engaged – I didn’t like how my mind was engaged. Yoga was unleashing some strange emotions. I realized that when I was doing yoga, I felt like I was a teenager again. In school, I did a lot of gymnastics, and yoga somehow brought me right back to that place. It was not a comfortable spot. I had no wish to feel like a teenager again. And the competitiveness this unleashed in me was unpleasant. Once I realized what was going on, I was able to channel those feelings differently. Of course, having a different body from when I was a teenager helped me change my energy.
When you get on the mat, you never know what you’ll find. That’s the beauty of yoga – it’s ever changing, because we’re ever changing – and we bring different things to the mat. At the same time, yoga helps us be open and connect to what is revealed to us during our practice.