You are - Whole, Complete and Perfect.
Come open and raw -- ready to surrender to your Self. Come happy and at peace -- ready to surrender to the Self. When I began practicing yoga just over ten years ago I remember thinking - "this time on the mat - this is my hour or hour and a half - to escape from myself and the stressors on my mind". Sounds freeing doesn't it? -- It wasn't. The more I resisted myself and the emotions that came forth, the harder the practice was. I physically stood and moved on the mat, but I was not there with my body. My body and spirit were separate, when they are in fact One. So I came to breathe more while on the mat ... inhaling and exhaling, one breath - one movement. With each breath I became one step closer to being with my Self and in my Self.
I begin practices that I lead with a reminder, an invitation to come into the breath... to come into the experience of the breath as it moves through your body and out into the world around you and again through the body and back out into the world. I used to also invite those on the mat to leave the stressors that they came to the mat with at the door. I no longer do that - Bring them with you, as crazy as it sounds you will be able to work through them and they will be less upon leaving instead of having them, just as many as you came to the mat with, there ready and waiting for you to pick back on up on your way out the door... "oh, hey peaceful Being - you left us to here to stress you out again upon your return to the outside world ;)" ... to this I say, no thank you! Our yoga does not end when we leave the mat. In fact, it is only there that it truly begins. We move through asanas on the mat, we connect with ourselves, yet again, deeply and truly on the mat and then we carry this energy with us, if we commit to its radiance - off the mat and into the world. Leaving stresses at the door is not a bad concept (though), in fact it makes a lot sense, still to me - leave the "stress" of your shopping list, your worry over your outfit, leave the stress of the superficial constructs of society at the door and simply, leave them there - there is, no reason to pick them back up.
But do - come to the mat with your pain, your sorrow, your concerns, your happiness, your love, your peace, your delight, your exhaustion... Come as you are. Breathe into the energy of your Self and breathe it out into the world around you. Breathe in love for your Self, forgiveness for your Self and breathe it out into the world around you.
Let the breath be your meditation.
Let your surrender to Self be your greatest gift.
Many a person has said to me, "well I would love to come to a yoga class Emily, but I am not flexible enough, I am not fit enough" ... I am not... when you all ARE - whole, complete and perfect. Are you breathing? - Then, come to the mat. When you come, all I request of you is that you breathe. You do not even have to do it, as instructed - one breath, one movement, but you do have to breathe. Now, take it a step further - you can do this right now, sitting on the couch, in bed, wherever you are - as you read this... notice your breath, feel its journey as it moves in through your nose, down your body and out into the world again. How does it feel to tune into the breath, as it courses through your Being, how does it feel as it journeys out and around you again!? ... to me, it feels like - life anew. Each breath, a new moment, each breath, permission to love myself stronger. Each breath, a gift.
Come to the mat - laugh, cry, breathe, move, or remain still - Come, as you are.
Peace, Love and Light, always.
A spiritual being on a physical journey, striving to make a positive impact on this world through my actions and loving intention. I believe that we are all capable of greatness, it is how we channel this great energy that matters... I choose to express it in the name of -- peace and love.