February 6, 2010

yoga + me = LOVE

Yoga has been mentioned in my blog before, but I believe it is time I devote a post specifically to this new practice I have started in my life. When I met all the new teachers in Miami we spent a lot of time talking and getting to know one another. Several girls talked about their love of yoga and their desires to seek out yoga in Colombia. At this time, I had heard of yoga but knew very little about the practice of yoga. I remember seeing the passion and happiness on everyone's faces when they talked about practicing yoga in a community.
After arriving in Colombia I lived with Maggie, who taught yoga in the US. Her love for yoga and wonderful teaching totally motivated me to learn more. Thankfully, Maggie graciously taught me the basics within the protective confines of our apartment. From there I started attending the once-a-week classes she holds at school for teachers. Five months later I have been consistently practicing yoga at least twice a week, sometimes more, and it has become a significant part of my life. So much so that I am currently participating in a weekend long Anusara yoga workshop with some fellow teachers right here in Cali. The workshop has been great so far, although I know I will be sore after doing about 6 hours of yoga today! Yikes!
The best part of yoga is the way it makes me feel. When I practice yoga I feel part of a larger community, a community of people who believe in the possible. One of the things Maggie often tells us is "Root down to rise up." Sometimes she means this literally, to ground our feet into the earth and then rise up in our poses, but other times I interpret this philosophically. That if we all root down together then together we can rise up and change the world. And yogis, people who practice yoga, could just change the world, it really wouldn't surprise me. I have learned new things about my body, the way I move, and what I am capable of thanks to yoga.
Through my yoga practice I remind myself to be present in each moment. Rather than worry about the future or contemplate the past, I focus each day on the present moments at hand. How can I be my best self today, in this moment, in this interaction?
Yoga also teaches me to be still and listen, listen to what my heart is telling me, listen to the presence of those around me. Though yoga practice, and specifically shavasana, the final resting pose, I have learned to quiet my mind and just be. If you have known me for any amount of time, you can only imagine how difficult this is for me. Sure there are times in shavasana where we are supposed to be lying still without any thoughts, but instead I am concocting a to-do list, grocery list, or blog post in my head. BUT I'm getting better every time - promise! :)
Yoga is full of mantra and more, and I still have so much to learn about my yoga practice, and everything yoga related. However, for now I am content with this new part of my life.


Grady said...

Hey Kristin, sweet blog! I'm flying to Colombia on Monday to begin teaching at Colegio Bennett. I'm going to teaching English lit and history for the next year. I found your blog searching 'yoga in cali colombia' and thought you might be able to lend a helping hand. Maybe you could direct me to a few nearby yoga studios, the best coffee in town (can't wait to flood my senses with it) and the closest tennis courts? Have fun whale watching, that sounds amazing!

Efrén Solanas said...

Hi Kristin: In two weeks I will be making my first trip to Cali, thanks to a series of unexpected changes to my path. I am looking forward to about a month in the country. I am a teacher of a powerful, transformational body work, primarily working in Brasil, Argentina and the USA (Minnesota several times a year!). The work is called Frequencies of Brilliance. Can you recommend any communities that I might get in contact with as I anchor the work in Cali? I also practice yoga and am very pleased to see that it has a presence in Cali. More good news! I look forward to your response. Thanks! EFREN

Efrén Solanas said...

Addendum: I am about 95% vegetarian. What should I expect in terms of finding food in Cali? I have heard some grim reports of a scarcity of vegetables.... ugh.

Thanks again! EFREN

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