Yoga

May 20, 2013

KathleenAshtanga

I started practicing Ashtanga yoga when I was 15 years old. This was before Lululemon was around, before you could find yoga mats at Target, and just before Madonna had made yoga trendy. I hadn’t quite hit puberty and was rocking hemp necklaces with shells braided into them. I practiced with my teacher Andrew (who took the photo above) on a grimy green carpet in a tiny studio in Norman next to a pasta shop. With a background in gymnastics it was fascinating to see just how bendy I could make my body.

At around 20 years old I fell out of my practice. I was broke, busy, and none of my punk rock friends practiced yoga. After I graduated college I tried picking up an awkward class or two at the local YMCA and that’s when I learned that not all yoga is created (or taught) equal. Late last summer – and a whole decade later – I eased back into my practice by exploring different studios and styles – from restorative yin to Ashtanga to hot Bikram-style to prana flow. I’ve been practicing almost daily and have been regretting ever falling out of my yoga practice. But what I’ve learned is that I needed a decade to build some strength and spirituality that has nothing to do with how far I can get my leg behind my head. I’ve learned that yoga is about connecting my spirit to my body with breath. Yoga is a moving meditation that can happen while I’m practicing asana or even on a spin bike. It’s about brining intention to my practice and my life – on and off the mat.

Do you practice yoga? I’d love to hear your experience with it. 

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