Returning to practice

One of the things my therapist recommended to me after my mom received the diagnosis and my whole life was up-ended and I was worried about losing it was to take yoga classes, because it’s been helpful for me in the past. There is a studio down the road from my parents’ that offers a 30 days for $30 special for new students. I wound up taking 12 classes in the 30 days, and wrote this a few days into it:

One silver lining of being in an emotionally difficult situation and away from home so much these last weeks is that I’ve started practicing yoga and meditation again, taking 3 or 4 yoga classes a week and sitting on my own, like I’ve been saying I would for years. This has been good for my mental health, and it has also made me realize the truth og something one of my very first yoga teachers once told me: You can always come back to your practice, because your body will always remember.

I started practicing yoga in 2001, when I was 18, and got more seriously into sitting meditation when I was about 23. When I practice now, that entire 17 year history is still there. The first yoga class I ever took in the NYU gym shortly before 9/11; the years I worked as the assistant to the director of a yoga studio in DC, the 200-hour teacher training program I did there when I was 20; the sweaty classes at Jivamukti, where I practiced after I moved back to NYC in my early 20’s (back when it was still on Lafayette Street); all the other yoga studios I’ve practiced in; the meditation retreats I went on and the monasteries I visited in my mid-to-late 20s… it’s all still there. It’s all still there even though I practiced so little in grad school, especially after F was born. My body still remembers all of it, and starting to practice again even after a long break is not at all like starting over from scratch.

(2018)