Love Begins On The Mat
Confessions of a Yogi - A weekly column by Jamie Silverstein
When I was sixteen, I feel in ‘love’. His name was Sean. He was a barista who played guitar. He left flowers on my car and wrote letters. Yes, sweet friend, I am like 95% percent of women– an easy swoon.
Then this insanely regular thing happened. We (he) broke up. And, I stopped liking myself (Has that ever happened to you too?). Now, this was my first heart-break and it may not be my last. But, there is something I’ve learned since Sean (and M. and T….). We have a choice. We lovelorn have a choice in how we react to that thing called heart-break. And, that reaction does not have to be so personal…
Love Is Like Yoga
Much like a yoga practice, when you enter into a relationship, you enter into a dance where you do not know all the moves. You might have to bend. Sway. Your heart may even get excited. And, if it’s a juicy one, you might finish always wanting that same amazing feeling (this goes for both your practice and your partner). So the question then begs: On the mat and in our relationships, how do we choose love from the inside out? What is that connection that feeling called ‘love’ really about? Ultimately, how do learn to fall for ourselves?
Where True Love Comes From
Patanjali reminds us in the Yoga Sutra that the holistic system of yoga is designed to breed both contentment and love. We practice asana so that we can feel the connection with our own radiance. Now some days, this is a choice. I’m not here to tell you that every flow class feels like rainbows are falling from your Mula Bandha (Double rainbow? Really?!). Some days you feel that bourbon or indulgence de jour… maybe even that ‘bad’ date. But then there are those magical days… Those swoon days.
And then, the days start falling away. This is when you find love. It’s not about the days. Or, the poses. Or, the partners. Our yoga practice teaches us to connect with the moment EVERY day. While trying at times, this everyday toil is actually the mud where we can grow love. Love does not come from a grandiose externalization (Yay handstand!) or some worldly feedback; that feedback is passion and fun. But that feedback is not the ‘truest’ love. Because the truest love does not come from the ‘I love you’s. The truest love comes from the ‘I love me’s. And, that’s a love that cannot be broken (up with).
Choose love. Practice love. Today. To YOU.