yoga as right relationship

This afternoon, as I settled into space on my mat, I read this from Meditations from the Mat:

The yamas and niyamas bring us into right relationship with ourselves, others, and the spirit of the universe.

For the next 60 minutes, as I flowed through 108 delicious salutations on this winter solstice, my mind chewed on that intention and my heart lingered in that prayer: right relationship.

Yoga creates the space for right relationship…first on the mat, then like the aroma of fresh-baked bread, it permeates beyond the mat into my daily life, nourishing all the hard postures that this messy life demands. IMG_1193

Yoga creates a right relationship with God. On my mat, thank you’s flow as freely from my lips as sweat. When I bow low into forward fold, and then lower into child’s pose, I am taking my rightful place before God: prostrate and humble. As I stand solid in tree pose, leg tucked up, poised between the push and pull, I honor the rightful space of being rooted in God’s faithful foundation, a small but glorious part of Creation. I grow my branches in worship.

IMG_1186Yoga creates a right relationship with my body. On my mat, I feel the heaviness of hurtful choices; I am weighed down by my weak will. And I twist, turn, small and insignificant, towards health and self-care. And then I twist, turn again. Ever twisting, turning, I rightfully see myself as worthy…worthy of breath, worthy of boundaries, worthy of stillness, worthy of sweat, worthy of fruits and vegetables and water, worthy of the sweetest life without sugar, worthy of saying the immediate no for the eternal yes. I stand strong in Virabhadrasana, a warrior of my blood and beauty.

IMG_1197Yoga creates a right relationship with those around me. On my mat, I send my liquid-energy and breath-prayers to those around me, who need it. On my mat, with my hands at heart center, I see that we all need it. We are a part of a collective yogi-body, aching and breaking and faking and shaking and making shallow paths through dark forests of pain and error. So I squat low in horse, pulling strength into my hidden self, then offering it up for those around me–those on mats or in memories.

Yoga creates a right relationship with righteousness. In the mental space of nothingness, where breath meets and greets breath, I learn my wrongs: my disproportions dragging my heart to the ground in balancing stick. So I pull my shoulders down and shine my heart towards the Divine Sky, where Light pours in and changes me, so that I can say sorry and see glory and not the gashes of a wounded life.

Right relationship. I sit with this. I bend with this. I live with this. Thank you yoga.