Monday, September 14, 2009

Back to the beginning

Tonight, I took a class at the Kriya Yoga Center. Before I was pregnant with Ally, I attended at least two classes there per week, plus weekly Satsang (fellowship, practice, and instruction). I stopped attending classes when I got pregnant because it made me sick, and then stopped attending Satsang when Ally was born because I couldn't take her with me (it's hard to meditate while holding a screaming baby!).

Since then, there has literally not been a day that I haven't thought of the Center, or of Michael, my yoga Teacher. I was raised Catholic, went to a Catholic school, attended Mass every weekend for my whole childhood. None of those beliefs make sense in my life, and I abandoned them late in my adolescence. But that didn't negate my longing to know a truth and to feed my Spirit.

The Yoga Center filled that need for me. There are very few things that I KNOW to be true, realities that I know unquestionably. I reflected to Michael this evening when I saw him that those few things come from him and the Center. Being away from it for the past several years has been the most painful twilight for my soul.

And my body. I've maintained a basic yoga practice in my home for several years now, but I am appalled by some of the things I learned about myself tonight. Most startlingly, I've forgotten how to breathe. Breathe. It's the most basic of human functions, the root of any meditative practice. And taking a full belly breath is incredibly difficult for me right now. I've always been a breath holder, because being present often feels so overwhelmingly painful, but this is truly appalling.

It's hard to shift anything if you don't have the foundation loose to shift. The breath. The foundation. The truth. If I'm really going to shift my attitude and cultivate some joy, this is where it needs to begin.

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