Why Mitchell Does Yoga
Posted on 10 September 2016
Why I Do Yoga...
Because I feel human when I practice yoga. Every time I step on my mat I remember that I am alive. Life feels hard sometimes, and sometimes I just want to run. I want to run to a better place. It’s like there is something out there that will make me happier. I think, if I could only change this, and this, and this, then I would be happy for real. If my job was more fulfilling, my relationships more meaningful, my body a better shape, then I would be content.
When I practice yoga, and I feel my heart beating, and my breath freely flowing, nothing else matters. I feel at ease, like I don’t need to run, like I don’t need to reach for something else, like I don’t need to change anything about me, or the life that I live. I am a complete human, I am whole, I am the me I always dreamed of being.
I can see how my life is just like my physical asana or practice.
When I 1st started doing yoga, I saw many things about my body change. I made connections to my life off of the mat so easily. I was holding on to tension in my jaw in vinyasa (moving from one pose to the next), I was pushing so hard. I was trying so hard to make my life work the way I thought it should, instead of accepting the natural flow.
When I first started yoga, I was working in a restaurant. I had a dream to open a restaurant with my family since I was about 14. I had been working towards this dream since I was that age. I worked in restaurants for 10 years to make this happen. I noticed practicing that just like holding on in my jaw, and resisting the flow of my breath, and natural path through the poses, i was holding on to this dream that I had created as a young man.
I know, that’s ridiculous, there’s no way I made that comparison from a clenched jaw to holding on to an old dream. I get it. Here is where the magic continues.
I knew I wanted more from my practice, so I started the 40 Day program. It is a program and lifestyle practice of yoga, meditation, and self-inquiry. Self-inquiry is the shit. It is hard sometimes. I did it with my girlfriend Danielle, and one of the questions was what are the thoughts you have about your relationships (both negative & positive). And I was like… Uh, are you serious, I have to tell you that I have negative thoughts about you. And I didn’t have to, and it became clear to me that I wanted to. So I did. And it wasn’t actually that bad. Those were thoughts that I thought. She knew that I loved her, and that in the end, we are committed to being with each other, and that our love is more important than those negative thoughts that I had. And learned that day, how important it was for me to be honest.
Through the process of the 40 days, and this gift of self-inquiry, I was able, and am able, to see things about myself on my mat, whether it be a clenched jaw, or a weak core, or an empowering handstand. At times my body is easier to tap into than my thoughts, or my soul. And through the connection of my body, I am able to learn, and create myself and my life. And not from past experiences, from the present moment. When I go for a handstand, and think my handstand can only be as good as one from the past, I narrow the realm of what is possible. When I press my hands down right there on the mat and go for THAT handstand, I am open to what is possible in my the pose and in my life.
I practice yoga to connect to my body, to remember that I am human, and in the end to live in integrity, possibility, and play.