move creatively and insightfully through the most mundane days and the most dull moments, for there is magic even in the insignificant –
Who are we, really, to define and dictate what yoga is or what it should be, as I see so often among yoga circles and teachers. And I am no exception. Yoga has come to be understood in many different ways – both by non-practitioners and practitioners – and has come to have many different expressions, endless even, whether from the variety of lineages or the spread of them into different contexts, places, times and adaptions outside of their place of origin.
I can only speak from my own practice, from my own experience, from my opinions and insights, and from what my teachers teach me. My practice has taken many different forms since I began taking a weekly class many years ago. I sometimes put it aside altogether, and revisit it again later. Every time I return, it’s been patiently waiting for me.
Yet it is hard to differentiate some days when I am practicing or not – as yoga is intertwined so intricately into the fabric of my life. I am sometimes walking in some beautiful, magical place in the world, having to remind myself of where I am. And then realize that yoga will never leave me – the same way I have found and (physically) left my homes of South-East Asia and Ireland, among other places, these places will always have a home in my heart.
It has become almost impossible for me now to approach the world without using the tool of yoga. It has become so integrated, and so integral in my art, my creative life. As an artist, I have made my life my creative work, and yoga has been an incredible tool to make this happen. It is the solid foundation in the ever changing nature of my life, and shows me the stability, as well as the creative insight that occurs when creating space to come home to myself.
Through meditations of observing and listening, the nature of my practice seems to be changing every week. I am playfully letting it express itself in whatever form it wants to take – sometimes a disciplined asana practice, sometimes teaching, or a mindful walk in the park, a breakdown, a wanting to give everything up but then recommitting myself. Sometimes the painting gets a bit messy, sometimes the written piece doesn’t come out the way we want it to – but we keep moving. Keep breathing. Keep practicing.
Photography by Craig Whitehead