Six months later, and I'm officially declaring that I have absolutely no idea why I didn't begin regular practice sooner. I've committed to making several lifestyle modifications this past year, eating whole being one of them. However, taking up yoga has probably been the most rewarding change for me.
Hands down, the best part of my week is the standing date I have with Emma for our Vinyasa or Hatha class and Yoga Nidra (meditation). I'm incredibly spoiled by the fact that she works at PURE in Manhattan, thus enabling me to attend classes there. (The instructors and facilities are truly first-rate).
I've never been a huge fan of exercise and am certainly not someone who eagerly anticipates going to the gym or out on a five-mile run. I realized recently though, that yoga is the first form of exercise I actually enjoy. I think a lot of that has to do with the spiritual aspect of yoga practice. The physical transformation is obviously encouraging, but it's the metamorphosis of my headspace that really powers my drive and will.
I appreciate how yoga is rooted in mindfulness and intention. Sometimes I can't believe how much I've learned and grown in just six months. I feel stronger and more attuned to the needs of my entire self; mind, body and soul. When you wake up the morning after a physically demanding class and experience that good kind of soreness in your abdominal muscles and more mental clarity than you've known in weeks, it feels pretty damn great.
I look forward to continuing on this journey: it has already transformed my life in so many more ways than I ever thought possible.
"What if our religion was each other
If our practice was our life
If prayer, our words
What if the temple was the Earth
If forests were our church
If holy water—the rivers, lakes, and ocean
What if meditation was our relationships
If the teacher was life
If wisdom was self-knowledge
If love was the center of our being.”
[Portrait: May 2014 // Central Park, New York]