Smooth Everything Out

Yoga tends to smooth everything out.  Balance the mood, the brain and perhaps the hormones.  I love yoga.  I prescribe it to my patients and practice it on the daily.  I also get bored and cranky at times in my practice. I become forgetful to be mindful and grateful.  But just even doing a standing forward fold and nothing else, or 1:2 ratio breathing tends to help me remember my skin, my breath, this current experience of aliveness.   Believe it or not, I came to yoga prior to sticky mats.  Can you imagine practicing a vigorous vinyasa flow without your mat?  I was introduced to yoga in an aikido dojo where we were required to wear sleeveless t-shirts and balloon shorts.  There were no lulu's and quite frankly no one gave a shit.  We were there for the enlightenment, not the flashiness.  I am reminiscing now about the good old yoga dinosaur days, at least in the US.

I am reminded that the western yoga tradition is no more than 50 years, whereas this vast lineage spans more than 5,000 years.    But there was a purity then in our dinosaur days that I long for.  We had one style, yes, definitely co-opted and bastardized from the original, but yoga nonetheless.  We had one lineage to practice and it was Iyengar.  I am grateful to that earliest of trainings for it's uncompromising exactness and attention to anatomical alignment.  It's like having the basic veggie stock for any soup combo.  One builds on that delicious foundation, the mineral broth of life.  That is what Iyengar yoga gave me. A foundation for not only incorporating other styles of yoga later on in my practice, but a hearty, breath by breath, bone by bone alignment and base for living.