Would you ever consider purchasing a house without seeing it first?
Or having not seen it, would you ever forego an inspection?
Whose opinion would it take for you to make such a decision?
While I have rented a home sight unseen, I couldn’t imagine doing so without seeing pictures of the place. I wouldn’t have taken someone else’s word for what the home looked like, I wouldn’t have relied upon another person’s opinion. The pictures helped make the decision easier.
Look with me at this picture. Would you live here?
Or if you saw this picture would you want to live in the house that held such a room?
When you look at something, is it the outside you look at? Is it the inside? What are the priorities that matter to you? What does it mean to have a home?
What if you saw this inside?
Obviously, there are many different types of homes. Style and preferences line up beyond number. What if I told you that the picture directly above was inside the warehouse picture I showed you earlier? Or how about this picture?
Would you want to live here?
What if I told you the picture of that living room, yup… here. Oh, here is one of the bedrooms.
What are these pictures, these stories all about?
I have to come up with a story. It has been hard to find. I need to write the story of how and why I wanted to be a yoga therapist. What yoga therapy means to me, why I would say that you (or everybody) should have a series of yoga therapy sessions. I struggled with this, I’m not even sure why it was so much of a struggle. Except most things that pertain to me and my relationship with my body have a lot of struggle within them.
Now, perhaps it is my impatience.
Truthfully, I have been searching for the story for what might seem like only a month. I came to write that last sentence, it no longer felt true. I have been searching for this story all my life.
Let me pause here, I want to tell you one more story before telling you mine. It is one that some of you have heard before. I was in Pineville, NC. I was waiting for a friend at a coffee shop. In walked this most magnificent looking business woman. I don’t know that I had ever seen such a person so perfectly put together. My friend walked in, commenting that the woman was like a piece of art. I hadn’t needed my friend’s comments. She had spoken such words with only admiration. My heart had already lurched. Perhaps it is my history, my profession, the people I work with or perhaps it was my intuition. When the outside has to be so perfect, what is the inside like?
Oh… one more story.
I truly don’t mean to ruin this experience for you if you enjoy taking car rides on a Sunday morning into neighborhoods whose homes stand stately. The New York Times real estate section, those Sunday drives, those neighborhoods all display magnificent homes. Ever wonder about the lives inside? Now, if the life inside those homes is as magnificent and happy and peaceful as the beauty and immensity on the outside, I would do cartwheels. If I could do them. I just have known too much to think that that is the case.
A whole lot of things can be covered with a fresh coat of paint and more.
A whole lot of things can’t.
All of these stories bring me to my story.
If you follow me, you know that my journey onto the yoga mat upon the suggestion of a therapist would lead me to utter amazement. It would lead me to Living Mangaliso. It would lead me to immense deconstruction. Emerging from religious constructions that said yoga was of the devil. I would lose beyond what I had anticipated. As more time continues to pass, I realize more and more how I have gained beyond anything I could have lost.
I am gaining me.
My yoga therapy story is going to be really simple. Maybe that is why it has taken a while to find it, perhaps my love for words and conversation thought it had to be more but in finding simple, I’m finding me.
My yoga therapy story? The reason I believe all of you all should come into a commitment of sessions for yourself. Is this…. I wanted my outside and inside to match. I want to be healthy and happy and it to show within and without. I don’t want a shell, like what I have had all fit and strong holding a broken interior. I don’t want a broken interior held together by an outside that might look perfect, but scratching the surface it is shown up to be just a façade. I want my inside and outside to match.
If I am feeling the sensation of brokenness, I want permission to be able to look broken. If I am feeling strong, I want that to radiate through. If I am a mixture, a mess, a contradiction. That is what I will be…. Stepping not just on the yoga mat, BUT taking back my body, my heart, my mind, my spirit, and my highest self through yoga therapy has taught me, I can do this. I can walk with interior fidelity to my exterior expression of me, I can walk with integrity. The inside and outside can come home to each other.
I am no longer for sale.
I am not for sale to a religion, to media, to hype.
I am not for sale to have friends.
I will not contort myself into shapes and sizes so that others accept me.
I would rather face down the tunnel of loneliness and heartsickness then to ever sell myself sort ever again. Finding my body, moving it AS I WANTED (thank you Phoenix Rising, it truly is my body, my practice), breathing and filling my physical being with fresh breath, focusing my heart and mind in ways that are just down right hard sometimes but finding the places within and without to do so, THAT is why I am becoming a yoga therapist. BECAUSE if it can happen for me…… IT CAN happen for you!