When I was a lass of but 17 years, I wandered into the magical wonderland that is World Market for the very first time. A close family friend, a man from India, had introduced me to things like Naan bread, Basmati rice, and Mendhi (the art of using Henna dye to adorn the skin of the hands and feet)… and I was a goner. I was raised in a loving, but very homogenized christain faith — tasting, feeling, drinking in the exotic trappings of a land steeped in history, tradition, and beauty was like a spark in the starved imagination of this inquisitive girl.
… aaaand World Market was like the gasoline. Thus a love affair was born.
In that very first visit, I found a yoga mat with a shimmery lavender silk bag. My naive little 17 year old mind connected a few dots. I wanted to learn more about the culture in India: They do yoga, right? But I was so shy about purchasing it, I almost put it back three separate times. What swayed my indecisive heart? What can I say – I’ve always been a sucker for Sparkles.
I’ve done Yoga now on-and-off for 12 years. Gods, that makes me feel old! At the beginning I could contort my flexible teenage body into any position, and I started to wonder what all the hype was about! It wasn’t until my mid-20s that I started to include some of the meditative practices as well… Suddenly it made a bit more sense.
I love that as I have grown as a person, my practice has changed. As my body has aged and become less flexible, and I grapple with chronic pain on a daily basis, visiting my mat each week has become a way to let go of self-judgement. I have become intimately aware of my body and its alignment, learning to love it where it is Today. Somewhere along the way, and almost without my conscious notice, I’ve started to apply that same love and patience to my heart and soul. I am convinced that without Yoga, I could not have created the life I love today. I have made changes and grown in more ways that I knew were even possible.
What may have started out as an infatuation with the vibrant colours and tastes of another land has since developed into so much more.
… I still pretty much adore the riot of colours though. At least the romance hasn’t waned. ;P