I’ve been practicing yoga for 12 years. Over the years, my practice has changed depending on the basic conditions of my life: my age, my health, my schedule, my location, my physical and spiritual interests and needs, my romantic relationships, my relationship with chocolate chip cookies. Each time I’ve come to a point of transition in how I practice, or where I practice, or with whom I practice (and, more recently: how I teach, where I teach, and for whom I teach), I start to question why I’m doing what I am doing and what is the ultimate goal.
The questioning is uncomfortable—who wants to question a thing they love?
It’s no surprise that we have days and weeks and months that are specifically designated to honoring things, like MLK day or Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To honor something, you have to name it and then give it some space in your life.
Sometimes we forget to give things space. I used to think days like Mother’s Day were just crafty inventions of the greeting card industry, but that’s too simplistic a view. Mother’s Day reminds us to show our mothers some love, and the sad -- or maybe just practical -- truth is that most of us need that reminder. Sure, we should be doing that every day, but we get all caught up in whatever it is that we get caught up in. If we want to say anything about the greeting card (and mega-billion-dollar gift) industry, we can say it capitalizes on our lack of day-to-day presence with the ones we love.
But it’s ok. We’re human, we need reminders. And if we’re smart, we’ll remind ourselves of lots of things, and often.
Local yoga teacher and writer Karen Macklin's new weekly column on SFBG explores yoga, meditation, and conscious living in the big city.
Let’s talk about yoga. Ten years ago, when it was starting to gain momentum in the US, lots of people predicted it would be a passing fad, like Richard Simmons or the Moonies. No way this thing of stretching, breathing, chanting, meditating could stick in modern society. Remember Cabbage Patch Kids? Rollerblading? Reliable health insurance? Yeah, me neither. That’s the way Western yoga was supposed to go.