So I’ve been practicing yoga for a few months now. I’m better at it than I thought I’d be, but I’m still definitely a beginner. Funny thing is, I’ve tried yoga in the past. It was okay, but definitely didn’t draw me.
Then I experienced the #BlackGirlMagic of yoga led by Black women. I realized then that I had been missing the soulful energy that can be experienced in yoga, that it wasn’t just about doing a workout. I found a class (dubbed “church”) and teacher that I connected to (my “sensei”), committed to going regularly, and that was that.
Ha, of course it wasn’t.
My spiritual journey has been splitting wide open as of late. In case you missed it, I discovered omnism for my Self and openly embrace the label of being an omnist, one who believes there is truth in all religions. Once again I’ve found a name for a path I’ve already been traveling, only now there is more Light to see where I am.
So how does yoga tie into this? Quite simply, I’m only recently learning that yoga itself is much deeper than what we’re familiar with in the West. By that I mean, I always knew it was a spiritual practice for some folks, but I never knew just how truly spiritual it was and how much history there is to it. Yoga is more than just exercise to stretch muscles and improve physical balance. Yoga is a plethora of many, many spiritual and philosophical schools of thought in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, with body poses being only a small part of the various wholes. It’s ripe with truths on not just inner peace and balance but also engaging with the energy of life and even loving and worshipping God.
And I love it.
As my spiritual journey has evolved, quite naturally so have my spiritual practices. First my soul was led to create an altar box based on the elements of nature (earth, fire, wind, water) for prayer and mediation. With omnism touching my spirit, I made a table altar dedicated to the spiritual knowledge gained through holy bibles and knowledge books of different religions and spiritual paths. And once again I thought I was done.
Recently, I bought a second yoga mat to use with my second altar box for outside prayerful meditation…just something to sit on and something with a tree because trees are spiritual to me. As I was cleaning it alongside my original class mat, I realized a connection.
My original blue mat, which is quite sacred to me now, is a beautiful night scene with a full moon being touched by the bare branches of a majestic tree. My second mat looks more like a reflection of sunshine, with a lone tree extending its leaves in the fullness of green life.
The bare tree in the night feels like release, which is my intention in class. The leafed tree in the day feels like renewal, which is my intention during prayerful meditation. The mats feel like a set, like true reflections of my spirit. And aside from choosing a design I liked when I bought them, none of that was a conscious decision.
I’m being led somewhere. Or maybe not led. Perhaps it’s just the result of ever evolving and forever learning and growing in Self. Either way, this journey is taking me somewhere deep, somewhere I’ve never been and would have never thought to go.
And I look forward to being there.