Personal Yoga Experience

Written by Dana Laquidara.

Practicing yoga first awakened in me the intention to live wholly, authentically, connected to a divine source. This intention led to my awareness of all that I do to block this connection. Coming off the mat, while still very much in the present moment, knee-jerk responses to the stresses of life become glaringly clear.

dancers pose

I may not be reaching for the bottle, or the drugs, but life offers a smorgasbord of seemingly harmless habitual behaviors that allow us to stay stuck if we choose to. If the sugar, the phone, the credit card, rescuing others, or staying busy, even work, is an attempt to remain somewhat numb, to avoid moving forward in life, then we become cut off from our life force energy. As I move in and out of connection with this powerful energy, I become conscious of my negative patterns and they become more fleeting, less enticing. Yoga has brought me face to face with my responses to the bumps and bruises of life.

Yoga brings me into my own body, aware of my breathing and back to my true nature. It leaves me calm and alert, able to face whatever is in front of me. I become more and more tolerant of joy, filled with gratitude, and more accepting of the present moment, whatever it brings.

Being free of hard core addictions only means I need to pay close attention to my own habitual attempts at stifling my feelings when they bring discomfort, stress, or pain. I may never hit rock bottom, but this only makes it more difficult to admit when I am failing myself. Each time I reach for anything at all, to avoid the sensation of the present moment, I am stunting my own growth. I am no different from the addict. So when life tosses me around, as it does all of us from time to time, my practice means allowing the tough emotions to flow through me, without interference. When I do this, there is always, always a wellspring of peace awaiting.