Have you ever been on your way to a yoga class and spent the entire time talking yourself out of going? You sit in your car and mentally list all the reasons you should not walk through the doors. Maybe you’ve had a difficult day. Maybe you are just simply grumpy. Your to-do list is a mile long and the deceptive pang of guilt makes you want to put your car in reverse and attend to all the stuff you must do.
I’ve been there. In fact, there have been times when I drove all the way to class only to put my car in reverse and get the heck out of there. Who loses in this situation? While it may not be apparent, there is a ripple effect when we choose to neglect ourselves. When the push and pull of our daily lives wins, we choose to abandon ourselves. In these moments, we really need to press our forehead into the mat and take care of our mind, heart, and body. Just one hour.
The beautiful thing about the practice of yoga is that you arrive just as you are. . Encouraged to show up for yourself, all you must do is make it to the four corners of your mat without wishing for change or putting on a facade for those around you. While you may not realize it, walking into a studio space raw and honest gives those around you an opportunity to nurture you. You see, sometimes you bring the positive energy to class. You radiate happiness, strength, confidence, boldness, and power. Other times, you receive the energy. You need to be lifted. You crave in that moment some reprieve and perspective that our struggles or problems are not unique. As a human, without struggle we would not appreciate ease. Without pain we would not appreciate joy. Without heartbreak we would not know the greatness of true love. There is a symbiotic relationship between positive and negative energies. Come as you are with all you need.
I believe if you want to experience real change in your life through the practice of yoga, you must make it to your mat regardless of your emotional state. The transfer of positive and negative energies grounds us in the present. When we overload on high emotional feels, we regulate back just a little. It protects us from boasting, bragging, feeling untouchable, or allowing our ego to take control. We start to feel grateful. Fortunate. Humbled. When unhappy or going through a rough spell, we are reminded that others have found and created happiness in the face of adversity. The earth continues to spin even when we feel at a complete standstill.
When life presents us with challenges or hardships, we must make a commitment to never abandon ourselves. Learn to lean on the community so special and unique to the practice of yoga: inclusive, supportive, and always there to pick you up when you’re down. In reality, no matter how hard you feel like you are going to fall, your mat is always there to catch you.
Show up. Share your smile and happiness. Create laughter and share stories. Bring the pain with you. Create an intention focusing not on what you can get out of class but what you can let go of. What can you leave behind that no longer serves you? By what means can you walk out of the space a little lighter? Make the promise to yourself to always come as you are.
Cortney Franklin is the owner and founder of Bodhi Studios, LLC.Witha Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Science and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration, Cortney spent the last 10 years building a career she also feels passionate about in the Financial Services Industry..Cortney enjoys spending time at home with her kids Carter (10) and Collin (9), cooking, reading, engaging in politics, vacationing, and finding joy and laughter whenever possible.