Meet Andrea B., one of our senior teachers at Yoga District! Learn about her journey with yoga and meditation. Throughout her practice she always allows herself to begin anew.
Learning How to Begin Again
When I’ve strayed from my deepest aspirations, there are a few bits of wisdom that help me organize my actions and come back to myself. An especially powerful notion that my students are used to hearing is that you can begin again at any time.
Learning to Restart
I first heard this on a meditation retreat. I was, let’s be real, searching for a blissful and peaced out experience. In reality I was neck-deep in the all too familiar internal battle. It was waged by my ego as I struggled with disappointment and frustration about what was actually happening. When my teacher gently offered “you can begin at any time,” it was like someone had opened a window. There was another way forward.
It doesn’t need to be a revelation to realize that we can pause, come back to ourselves, and begin anew. The truth is that at any moment, we can decide to let go of the struggle. Let go of the story so that we can give ourselves the grace of beginning anew. It’s not magic. It’s not the domain of the enlightened and it’s not complicated. Like so much in our yoga and meditation journeys it’s something we can practice again and again until it’s metabolized into our bodies. We can choose to pause and interrupt the reaction. Take a breath and then just start over without judgment and with a sense of compassion for ourselves.
Recognizing When to Begin Again
The trick is to recognize that we’ve gone astray, lost sight of our breath, lost connection to our intention, or slipped into a narrative. In that moment of waking up, we can skip the analysis and mental stir to just come back to the practice. When we notice our next breath then we can come home to our bodies. We can decide to participate in moment-by-moment awareness. It’s a way to build our resilience, confidence, and sense of connection to ourselves and others. We’re never so far from ourselves that we can’t return. It just takes an awareness that we might have left home.
The good news is that we get to participate in the unfolding of our reality. We get to continue to participate in fruition every single day. We always have the power of creation when we pause to come home to ourselves. There are times in life that feel like a dead end. And there are times we recognize we’re at an intersection and every choice seems consequential. We get waylaid, stuck, or veer off the path. And eventually, we realize it. If we can slow down enough in that awakening to pause, then we can create the space to choose to take the first step back to ourselves, in satya (truth) and with compassion (1).
Sankalpa (Deepest Aspirations)
My sankalpa (my deepest aspiration) in my teaching, relationships, and how I show up in the world, is to learn to embody myself fully (2). A profound alignment occurs when what’s inside (embodying what we believe and aspire to be) matches our outside actions. It becomes natural and effortless to notice when we’ve been disconnected from ourselves. I’ve committed to slowing down enough to recognize when I’m overly identifying with a story of suffering or of not being enough. I’ve learned that the flow of grace knows its way through me. That I’m most embodied when I show up, participate, and allow this flow to happen. Even if this means that sometimes I need to let go of the shore and let the current take me. Despite the inevitable muddy waters and unexpected obstacles as the river flows on, I want to be awake for the journey. That’s why I practice.
You can begin again, no matter where you’ve been or how far you’ve strayed. You can learn how to come home to yourself. How to recommit to embodying your truth. How to pause and take the next step forward in full, compassionate awareness. Lucky for us, we are never alone in this aspiration to wake up. This is the power of sangha (3). Of joining with a community of people doing the same courageous work of tuning into what’s healthy for ourselves and the greater good. Here’s to tapping into the power of sangha together, on the mat, on the cushion, or wherever your flow takes you.
Check out Andrea B.’s current class offerings and sign up here!
- Sunday, 9:00 AM: Yoga 1.5 – 2 @ Online
- Tuesday, 7:30 AM: Free Community Meditation @ Online
- Tuesday, 5:15 PM: Strength and Mobility Happy Hour @ Online
- Tuesday, 5:15 PM: Strength and Mobility Happy Hour; Vaccinations and Distancing Req’d @ Petworth
- Satya, https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/5354/satya
- Sankalpa, https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/5751/sankalpa
- Sangha, https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/6238/sangha