Life Outside of Stretchy Pants
as published in Origin Magazine
Some people do yoga so they can look good naked. Others just want to feel comfortable in their own skin. For most, the yoga begins as a physical practice that progresses into a process of shedding the layers of stress and baggage that they have worn under their not-so Lycra-ready bodies. Whatever the reason you come to explore this practice, be prepared to bare all. Each time you come to the mat there's an opportunity to observe your naked truth, to remove the labels that society has deemed necessary and see the root of your beautiful self.
Who are you? You are not your job, your family role, your failures or successes. If you remove every external definition, who are you? It's seemingly easier to live within the definitions, to meet expectations, but at what cost? How can we be engaged in the experiences of this life without attaching our identity to our role in them? Without limiting our possibilities?
Some break through and find such freedom from conformity through their practice only to exchange one uniform for another, one identity for another seemingly more unique one. I admit, I traded mom jeans and diaper bags for designer stretchy pants and a yoga mat. I became a yoga teacher. I wore my proverbial stretchy pants daily. This became my uniform. But I do not want it to be my identity. Life exists beyond stretchy pants!
Through the practice of svadyaya (self-study) you begin recognizing who you are not. Strip away the labels, and find appreciation for the you inside your meat suit. Free yourself from the ill-fitting identities, and take another look in the mirror. Authenticity looks good on everyone! Recognizing the beauty in yourself reveals the real beauty in others, for we are light reflecting light.
Look beyond the external, into the eternal.