On Introversion and Inspiration

I place great value on the role that conversation plays in life, but rarely make an effort to deeply engage with others in subjects that really speak to my soul. An introvert by nature, I find comfort in the simplicity of silence and great companionship in my own thoughts; my ideal Saturday night consists of a cooking an extravagant meal from scratch and diving into my latest philosophy & psychology books with a highlighter and notebook. Writing is a great catharsis for me and serves as a powerful tool in finding authentic expression, clarity, and direction in times of inspiration, confusion, and everything in between. Publishing bits and pieces of my internal dialogue provides an opportunity for conversation on my deepest thoughts and the impetus to step out of the comfort zone of my own mind--blogging, commence!

This past September, I was blessed with a free pass to the Yoga Journal LIVE! conference in Estes Park, Colorado--the prize of winning an Instagram challenge: #MyPracticeInspires: sharing the inspiration that yoga brings off of your mat and into the world. 

What better topic for an inaugural blog post than inspiration? Here's a little glimpse into the heart of my practice through my winning entries:

I say without hesitation that my teaching practice has changed my life. I have learned to seek the beauty in things first, to notice the inherent goodness, love, and unique expression of Grace that each and every person embodies. No student has a problem to be solved or an ailment to be fixed, every student has strengths to be celebrated and their own set of tools that I am lucky enough to inspire and empower them to use. Maladies, tangible and otherwise, begin to melt away by virtue of noticing the good and enhancing its value.

My mother has started own practice again with my teaching; nothing inspires me like seeing her strength. Out of all of the pictures we took on our mama/baby adventure yesterday, the authenticity and pure joy of this one captures the beauty of the moment. #mypracticeinspires me to see the beauty in things, my practice inspires me to be inspired by others. 

Pre-teaching Sunday ritual: Srividyalaya, studio sunrise, personal practice, and a coffee date with my journal. #MyPracticeInspires curiosity; It teaches me that possibility is the greatest certainty, that my biggest breakthroughs are found through a suspension of disbelief and an affirmation of the unpredictable nature of things. Every expression of a pose is slightly different, every moment and experience has its own unique flavor. My practice inspires me to question my beliefs about my abilities, about my body, and allow new patterns to form based on a strengthening of my own alignment. My practice inspires me to open myself to possibility on my mat and engage in conversation with the unknown nature of things. Through this, I am beginning to step into my life with a new conviction in the power of questioning, of curiosity and inquisition...a belief in the importance of disbelief and the thrill of a lifetime of learning. I will leave my mark and make a difference in the world by coming more deeply into myself, by following inspiration, and staying ever-curious about this life.

#mypracticeinspires reverence, a depth of respect for not only the snapshot of circumstance but the expanse of a bigger picture. Sometimes, circumstance just plain sucks: an injury effects practice, personalities and values clash in relationship, a forest is clear-cut for monoculture and shallow industry. These setbacks are real, but they can either paralyze with frustration and anger or inspire progress through a shift in perspective. Experiencing these shifts in a physical, tangible way in my yoga practice encourages habits that extend far beyond the mat. How do I set new parameters to care for an injury? How do I create a new lens through which see a problem and structure the necessary framework to deal with it? My practice inspires my life in more ways than I will ever know; I couldn't stick to only one post for this amazing challenge. Being more in touch with myself creates a desire to be more in touch with the world around me. Serving myself through practice inspires me to serve the world. 

How does your practice inspire?

Photos from Estes Park!