My love affair with asana began back in the 90s when I met Baron Baptiste. It was a sweet, sweaty mix of physical, emotional and spiritual in a workout like none I had ever experienced. I broke through old patterns and habits. I became free in both my body and my mind. I took control of my life. It never mattered whether or not I could do the poses, but as time went on, I got stronger, flowed more fluidly, and could do things I could not do the very first day of practice.
Then I discovered the Ashtanga primary series and practiced that for a long time, very early in the morning, with a dedicated teacher. I felt like I glowed by the time I got to work.
In 2005, I discovered Jivamukti yoga and finally found the connection to a community that I didn’t even know I was missing.
Lately, I have been meditating every day. I taught myself all four books of the Yoga Sutras, and I chant them every day. I study their meaning and I teach others.
I am not running to my yoga mat. It used to be a place of refuge, where I worked out tension, stress and anxiety. Is it possible I am not tense anymore? I know for sure that my muscles are not tight like they once were. Maybe I am not tense, in the same way, anymore. Maybe I get the same relief from stress and anxiety from my meditation practice. Maybe chanting the sutras gives me the strength I once got from asana. The sutras tell us that mediation is numero uno, the one thing that will help us to free our minds. I do feel very grounded and connected in my practice.
I guess that is what the 8-limbed path is all about. Asana is a step along the way.