Today I witnessed a really disturbing event.
At just before 7am I felt my beloved leave my side and get out of bed. Shocked at his early wakeup and my atypical “late” arousal, I got out of bed soon after only to find him in our yoga room not only casually stretching but seriously doing yoga…mat rolled out, deep breathing, down dog doing. I was in such shock at this sight I brushed my teeth and washed my eyes to make sure I was seeing correctly. I was. I promptly returned to bed sure I was dreaming. A bit later I got up again and yup there the was…on the mat …in parsvokonasana.
“I’m going to get some mate. I”ll be back.” I said
I was so weirded out I had to leave the house and caffeinate myself. I mean “WTF!” I thought. “I can’t believe he is doing yoga in MY studio, on MY mat! I mean, who the hell does he think he is? Swamielliotananda?!” These thoughts quickly turned their back on me. “Well Livia, why aren’t you doing your practice right now? BAD YOGINI BAD YOGINI” was the mantra that quickly flashed through my morning monkey-mind.
When I returned with tea in hand, sure enough he was still there all twisted up on that mat. But his eyes were as sweet as ever, smile bright and shiny. (I mean gosh darn it don’t you just hate it when those shiny happy folks just flash you an undeniable smile!) I did not want to disturb such an angelic sight I stepped into the yard to answer emails, drink tea, read the New York Times Online.
A little while later I was re-greeted by a relaxed blissed out engineer. He told me he was “hooked” on practicing yoga and that it really felt great to start his day breathing, stretching, and connecting in that way.
It should be noted that my sweetie had done plenty of yoga before meeting me, and he is a spiritual seeker in his own right. BUT he had never done Anusara yoga before and more importantly (of course) he had never been with a “yogi” and certainly never had a yoga studio in his house before!
What stood out to me the most this morning was not so much the shock and awe of “Holy Crap my boyfriend is doing yoga!” but more the importance and the potency of simply being ourselves. Throughout my courtship and union, I have upheld my daily practice of asana whether at home or at a studio. I meditate. I go off and see my teachers, sometimes taking me far away for days on end. My beloved not only does fine with this, but actually promotes it. Imagine someone who says to you “NO really, please go be yourself.” Imagine someone who respects you and loves you more for who you are and are becoming.
Lets face it. We have all been in relationships romantic or platonic or familial where just being ourselves was an essential problem to the other person. I personally have never been with someone who lets me be myself more than my magical (now yoga doing) mountain man. It is fear that keeps us believing our essential wholeness and unique interests are the problem when attempting to commune with the other. It is our fear that keeps us thinking we must abandon ourselves to commune with the other.
I am reminded of a quote by marrion Williamson. She says to us. “…as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Now do I think my beloved engineer is going to do an Anusara yoga teacher training? No. An immersion? Maybe. Take a John Friend workshop? To be determined. But really none of that matters. What matters is that I can be myself, and so can he.
What I care about is that he has become inspired to take something dearly essential to me and make it his own. HIS OWN. He has a practice. Its not my practice. It’s his. Similarly there are activities that he stands by that I have been inspired to infuse into my life as well (but that’s another post).
The process I am inviting you to contemplate and practice dear ones is not to go out and find a boyfriend or girlfriend who will do yoga because you do it. The practice is to be yourself and watch the magic that unfolds inside you and around you as you stand tall in your own light. The pictures that will appear may astound you to the point where you think your dreaming…I can assure you, you are not mistaken.
BLESSINGS ON YOUR JOURNEY!