My Own Branches

I know there are branches of yoga. I know most of us are focused on the physical branch. Some multi-branched yogis don’t love our primary focus on the physical. I think it’s all right. Here’s why:

I began with Hatha yoga. But it doesn’t take long before I realize, without any teaching, that yoga has at least a second branch for me.

Let’s call my two branches outside yoga and inside yoga. The physical is outside. I love its strength and flexibility, its warmth, love the physical buzzy calm after my practice.

At some point on the trip, outside yoga introduced me to inside yoga, a kind of calm, accepting, eyeball-dissolving something, so often accompanied by huge sighs the end of class. And just as the physical branch teaches itself to me, class by class, the inside branch works its way through me, too, telling me a thing or two or twenty that I didn’t see at first.

Like the fact that I don’t feel inner peace after every class. In fact sometimes I’m as relaxed as all get out during class and then my head races during Savasana. Go figure.

And sometimes I find that lovely, floaty peace without doing a physical practice at all. Sometimes it shows up out of nowhere, while I’m driving or eating or scratching the dog’s belly. Today I saw an old man sitting on a guardrail, watching traffic go by while he picked something from the sole of his shoe, and my heart melted as though he were my grandfather.
Somehow, my yoga practice helps this inside thing happen, even when they don’t occur together.

So. There you go. I have two branches, now. Who knows what will show up next, and what kind of tree I’ll be in the end.

How about you?  How many branches?  What kind?  What’s your current growth?

Thanks to yoga for such gorgeous growth, and thanks to you for the conversation.

Kristin Shepherd is a chiropractor, actor, speaker, and workshop wonderwoman in North Bay, Ontario.  Join her at or on Facebook at Dr. Kristin Shepherd.

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