living the manifesto: week 1
posted: August 10, 2010
I am seven days in to living the manifesto. Eating well, drinking fresh water, sweating once and a day and doing things that scare me left and right. One thing I committed to early on was to return to my daily yoga practice and have rocked the first series of Ashtanga on the beach in English Bay. Last week I was practicing and got into that ‘yoga zone’. You know the one: eyes closed, postures solid and the sound of the breath filling every ounce of your body. After finishing my practice I turned around to see three people behind me in the same closing posture that I was sitting in. They had practiced with me, following me and were waiting (patiently) to ask me a slew of questions. I sat with them and answered what I could (and led them on a journey to the other answers) and concluded with a piece of advice that I had heard recently from Anusara teacher John Friend, who said the most important aspect of yoga is the yoga that you can’t see. I saw a smile appear on all of their faces. We all laughed, they thanked me and continued our day. It was a great moment.
The experience made me go back to my first few months of asana practice when it was a fight to push the body beyond itself. It wasn’t until I sat down and read Iyengar’s Light on Yoga and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois’s Yoga Mala that I really wrapped my head around what it means to live a yogic life (which included releasing my practice into whatever shape it took). It was then that I started feeling my yoga a little more, and not worrying so much about what it looked like.
I continue my practice today because it makes me feel good. As a teacher, I feel a sense of responsibility to be very present with my students, making sure they leave knowing something new about themselves and their bodies. I have listened and observed how hard we can be on our ourselves and how quick we are to point all that we are not capable of in life. In yoga I urge my students to be kind and patient with their bodies, reminding them that yoga will always be a practice and that there is no ‘final game’. David Swenson once told me that on your death-bed it will not matter if you can sit in lotus or pull your leg over your head. What will matter is how much love you can experience in your lifetime.Yoga will always be a part of my life because it is a part of me. The beauty of yoga is that it takes many forms and that there is a yoga out there for everyone. For some it is running, writing or painting…whatever it is, put your whole self in it. Feel it and experience it for whatever it brings to your life. Others will see that passion and be inspired to find their own yoga.
The next manifesto line Oli is taking on: Communication is COMPLICATED. We are all raised in a different family with slightly different definitions of every word. An agreement is an agreement only if each party knows the conditions for satisfaction and a time is set for satisfaction to occur.
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Read Oli’s first post about why she’s living the lululemon manifesto for 30 days: /30-days-of-manifesto/