Photos by The Lost Coast.
Are you willing to risk falling?
What parts of your ego are you willing to surrender?
This practice of Yoga is not always pretty; in my experience, it is messy, embarrassing, risky, and humbling.
Yoga is not simply being able to say, 'I can hold the pose effortlessly'... it is also being able to say, 'This pose took years, but I kept trying,' or, 'I'm terrified, but I'm doing this anyway.' Or even, 'This pose may never happen in my body, but I'm not letting myself be defined by that.'
Yoga is a daring act of staring fear down and not letting it win.
Yoga is the willingness to love yourself even when you fail miserably.
Yoga happens when you are facing a situation that feels impossible, something you can't imagine surviving -- like the loss of a loved one, a divorce, an injury that changes your life, an unplanned pregnancy, a fire that consumes your house.
Even though everything is messed up and you're making mistakes and crying alone in the bathroom at night, you're willing to feel everything that is happening. You're willing to stay present, and you even manage to love yourself in the small moments when you feel more alive than you have in years.
It is in these moments -- when your feet are covered in dirt and the ground is slipping out beneath you-- that you're truly in your practice. Not the easy, comfortable, flat wooden floors at the yoga studio. The part when you're barefoot in the cold. The part where you step on a piece of glass and have to call out because it hurts so much.
The part when you fall, and somehow, you get back up.
All this... all your willingness to keep going, to try again, to stay true to who you are... this is Yoga.