Life is both a fun and funny journey.
Each year that goes by, I find myself thinking about this a bit more and more. Perhaps it’s the evolution of my life which continues to happen, the transitions of my children or just simply striving to be more present than ever before.
In the day and age of technology advancing and more people looking down versus up, I’m starting to feel like a rebel. Truth be told, I do my own fair share of looking down, yet I’m constantly challenging myself with the reflection of how present am I really.
Earlier this year, I took on a second job. The word job in this instance actually makes me giggle a bit, almost in the same way it does when I’m on writing assignments which feel more like coffee dates than work. But yes, the fact remains that at the start of the new year I began teaching yoga three days a week.
My partnership with Koru Power Yoga Studio in Oakdale began as an uptight runner looking to build core strength over five years ago. While I would like to share I’ve been dedicated to my yoga practice ever since – I can’t. What I came to love about this studio as a student, however, was a number of things.
When I first joined Koru I quickly loved everything about it. The 5:30 a.m. class worked well for a busy mom with two young kids. The 90 degree heat of the room, prompted deep cleansing sweat, which left me feeling energized at the end of the one hour class. Then there was the practice style which spoke to me the most physically, emotionally, as well as spiritually.
Baptiste Yoga was the practice led by Koru owner Korin Wallace. A style which physically pushes you to your edge, yet also makes you aware of personal struggles that may need to be addressed. Each week that I went I seemed to learn a bit more about “stuck energy” or physical limitations which I made up in my head, yet really didn’t exist once I allowed myself to open up and try.
Quite simply, the Baptiste practice changed my life and I’m not speaking of the added income.
Again, I was not nor have I become as diligent as I would like in my practice. As a matter of fact it is one of my personal goals for the 2018 year. Not because I have a weight loss goal, or flexibility I’m trying to achieve, although either or both would be a bonus. I’m simply curious as to how empowered my life can become if I truly allow myself to be open to the practice and its teaching.
Oh yes, I know, for a large number of our readers that last paragraph may read like hippie talk and I’m at peace with that. What I’ve come to learn most recently, however, is that we (the yoga community) are on to something. More and more people are venturing out and trying the practice of yoga. The beauty of this is the variety of styles and practices since it’s truly not a one size fits all practice.
What I love about our studio in particular is the openness to all levels. Our classes are open to all levels from beginner to advanced yogi. As a teacher, that’s fun to watch. To guide the beginner into a basic pose, as the person next to them may challenge themselves to the ultimate level of where the pose might take them.
I also enjoy sharing nuggets of my own journey with the class as they flow from one pose to the other. Reminding the class that it’s not about perfect, it’s about practice. It’s about challenge and somedays it’s just simply about showing up – just like life.
In life we fall and get back up. In life we stretch ourselves, we push ourselves, we take risks. If we’re lucky, no, if we’re persistent, diligent and mindful we come out the other side somehow better and perhaps changed. Never perfect, yet ever present.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.