AA051101.jpgI love yoga because of its solitary nature.

An early morning coffee, my lovely man and dog still in bed, me shuffling to the living room in pajama pants and a t-shirt. Darkness in winter, green grass and blue lake in front of me in summer. This is good, good, good.

The other side of this is that I often have elaborate get-togethers during my practice. This morning was like this.

My daughter is in China. I miss her beautiful face. So, during Warrior II, I reach my fingertips forward and back and imagine my arms growing, circling the world until I can hold her face with both hands.

In seated forward bends, I think of one of my best friends, Riesa, who lives on the other side of the country. She taught me some of my favorite forward bends ten years ago. I miss her voice today.

My mom shows up when I’m trying to open my hips. I suspect we’d both love to be more flexible with each other.

And at the end of my practice, when the time comes to offer the fruits of practice to someone who might benefit (we do this in class, sometimes), I send my love and thanks to Nancy, a theater friend who passed away recently. She was still here when I came back to yoga 8 or 9 months ago. I got into the habit of sending her strength and courage and just kept on after she passed away. My hope is she’s out there somewhere, happy to receive the love.

Who knew home practice could be such a gathering place?

It also makes me wonder who you’re with when you practice.  I’d love to hear.

Thanks to yoga for uniting us all, and thanks to you for the conversation.

Kristin Shepherd practices yoga, theatre, public speaking, writing, and chiropractic in North Bay, Ontario. Contact her at kristinshepherd.ca and at Dr. Kristin Shepherd on Facebook.

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