Celebrating One Year


Almost a year to the day that I reentered the yoga world, and two weeks after returning from an intensive meditation retreat, I sit with a coffee, at 4am, on my living room couch, dressed in my favourite clown-stripe pajamas, gearing up for my yoga practice.

The thing I would not mention if I were a prouder person is that I’m also on my iPhone, playing Soduko.

It would be easier tell you I was a heroin addict or a recovering casino freak than to mention this morning’s Soduko, but someone wiser than I’ll ever be says the truth will set us free.
I imagined that a year into yoga I’d look like Sting and his wife Trudy, the Gumby and Pokey of the Flexible Yoga World.  I thought I’d be thin, look great in an organic leotard, have vaguely pointed dancer’s feet and a forehead as smooth as cream cheese. I’d look wiser, with a small, attractive squint (like Leonard Cohen’s), suggesting an artistic otherworldly-ness. You get the picture.

I hoped that yoga would change who I am.
The reality a year later is different, and better, I think, despite the persistence of my wide feet and that furrowed peace sign between my eyebrows.

My life is still too busy. After three long weekends away with meditation, a family funeral, and an acting workshop, I have temporarily lost my self. There are subtle clues when I’m lost. I begin to eat enough for small village of rugby players. My iPhone feels like a closer relative than my recently deceased Uncle David. Sudoku looks like the best thing going at 4am.
What’s different now is this: At 4:05am, my coffee finished, I put the electronic relatives aside, step onto the rug, breathe into my feet, and place my hands together in front of my heart. Half way through my first sun salutation, I hear myself saying, “O my god, O my god, O my god, this is good.”
Was lost but now am found.
A year in, yoga has given me a completely reliable, delicious, and loving way home.
It would be ridiculous to ask for more than that.
Thanks to my first year of yoga, and thanks to all of you who share the road home,
Kristin Shepherd is a chiropractor, actor, and speaker (about All Things Wonderful) from North Bay, Ontario.  Join her on the web, on Facebook, and on Twitter.  Don’t call her on the iPhone. She’s not answering today.
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