The longer I live….

…the more value I find in yoga.  The more relevant it becomes.

Life on this planet is hard.  Overwhelming, at times.  Too much choice, too many opinions.  At a pace that’s become way too fast.

Which is why I keep practicing yoga.  For me, yoga stands out as the best of the suggested methods I’ve tried to curtail the anxiety this overwhelm produces: medication, counseling and, yes, even distraction (insert any drug of choice here – shopping, food, sex, etc. –  and I’ve probably tried them).

But yoga works best when it is practiced and, knowing myself well enough to know that overwhelm will affect me enough to put the practice on hold, I found a sure-fire way of making sure I stay on the mat: teaching!

It appears to be working.  Being accountable to others – to show up and teach – makes me accountable to myself.  When life gets to be a bit (or a lot) too much, I can avoid the downwards spiral (from anxiety to despair) by just showing up to teach.

Because, Yoga is a crucible.  It will heat and chemically alter the elements that make us up (and that are causing us pain).  Teaching asks me to focus on something simple and positive and breathe deeply for an hour.

This goes a long, long way in dispelling the powerful pull of overwhelm.  The practice allows me to put aside thoughts long enough to breathe some space into them and, so far (15 years, that is), I am left understanding, knowing on a visceral level (and not just thinking or repeating):

“How important is it?  If it’s so important, it will still be so in an hour.  Go do some Yoga in the meanwhile!”

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