Yoga Is For Everyone
The Practice Is Rewarding
“The seed of yoga comes up differently in every person” - Krishnamacharya.
Yoga snuck into my life like a friend you come to know over several years of chance encounters and quiet conversations. I had tried it once or twice but remained skeptical. I thought I had my life figured out. I was on a rowing scholarship at the University of Kansas, captain of the rowing team, and a ‘straight A’ student. Yet a pervasive sadness and anxiety left me in constant doubt, questioning everything and aching for more. I was at a crossroads of change.
“Have you ever thought of trying yoga?” a friend asked me. I stared at her, then blinked in disbelief, thinking to myself, “I feel like my life is falling apart at the seams and you’re suggesting some light stretching and deep breathing?” Little did I know her suggestion would be the gentle nudge I needed towards much needed change.
Yoga was and remains the most difficult and rewarding thing I have ever attempted. Not only did it challenge me physically by asking me to move in new and unfamiliar ways, it also delved into the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of my life I had neglected. The postures or asanas are what got me through the door of a yoga studio, but the peace of mind, the calming of my heart and the surrendering of myself to a purpose and connection greater than my own issues are what kept me coming back for more.
Yoga had the amazing ability to meet me where I was. It didn’t ask me to be a different or perfect version of myself, like the one I had fabricated. Instead, its practice and encouragement of self- acceptance, its meditation on the present moment helped me to understand my current self.
Yoga gives each of us the opportunity to exhale self-judgement and inhale a deeper, richer sense of who we are. It’s not easy looking at your life with honest, unwavering eyes, but ask yourself this; would you rather go through life never knowing who you are, or would you like to meet the most beautiful and amazing version of who you are meant to be?
You don’t have to be bendy, thin, or clad in the best and brightest yoga gear, all you have to be is you. Just show up, breathe, keep an open mind and slow yourself down long enough to meet who you really are. Not the best looking, seemingly perfect, got it all together version of yourself. Instead, get ready to meet and learn to accept the version of you who makes mistakes, worries all the time and longs for acceptance, just like the rest of humanity. Plant the seed of yoga in your life and watch it grow within you in the most beautiful and unexpected ways imaginable.
Jelayna Da Silva is a passionate yoga teacher at Yoga Tree Studios. When she's not doing yoga, running or writing, she will most likely be drinking coffee in a cozy cafe, reading a good book or spending time with family and friends.