sweat. blood. beauty.

For a while, I went to yoga to let go.

The mere act of inhaling and exhaling meant the taking in of all the things that stressed me out during the day (which was a lot) and the letting out of those things in surrender. And after a few deep breaths in child’s pose, I moved into the present, into the moment, and out of my “monkey mind.” It was a beautiful thing.

And then, I cancelled my yoga membership. What a mistake. A mistake I was glad to rectify.

Since my renewed membership and my rejuvenated practice, I have come face to face with an enormous amount of pain–both in my life and in the lives of those around me. Death. Sickness. Tragedy. The sorrow in the stories surrounding me is enough to sink my spirits. And so to yoga I have gone, carrying the weight of those I love, setting my intention as prayer for them, for me, for redemption in our sad stories. It was a beautiful burden.

But today, as I lay on my mat after a very busy day of activity and nausea, my thoughts about me and my day hung thick in the humid and heated air. They would not let me go. And I realized, I need to come back to yoga for me too. Not all the time, but some of the time. In balance is beauty.

And wouldn’t you know what quote my instructor shared to set the tone for today’s practice?

The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war (Pandit).

I come to my mat, to sweat in peace, for in that sweatful and sweet peace, I recharge to face the wars of my life… the wars in my mind, the wars in my classroom, the wars in my school, the wars in my world.

And that is a beautiful thing.


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john pavlovitz

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