Comments on Grow Yoga Intensive 2015

“Love dies only when growth stops.” Pearl S. Buck

In his novel Still Life with Woodpecker, Tom Robbins wondered what it took to “make love stay.” How can a deep love or affection for someone, or something, find room to grow? Recently, I have begun to think more about how to make love stay in my life. How can I be compassionate and kindhearted toward my family, my friends, and (hardest of all) myself? And how can I extend love into my movement practices? For many years, yoga not only helped me care for my body, but it also allowed my emotions a sanctuary: a place to grow calmer and more relaxed. And although tension in our social, political, and economic lives occasionally threatens to creep onto my mat, I feel that yoga, and in particular Grow-Yoga, provides me with a refuge. My yoga practice gives me peace and solace. I want that to stay.

The first yoga class I attended was over twenty years ago. A woman I was dating at the time dragged me to a hot yoga class. And I hated it. Although I thought myself to be in good shape, I soon learned that, in the world of yoga, I lacked strength, stamina, and balance. But despite my many failures on the mat, I did not give up, and I continued to grow my practice. And while the love that I shared with my girlfriend faded eventually into a friendship, my love for the art of yoga has grown stronger ever since that initial class. Yoga has been present in my life through elation and depression, wealth and poverty, the crush of affection and the cage of isolation. Yoga, in all of the forms I’ve tried, has been a sweet, steady, held note amidst all of the noise and clatter of my life and the world around me.

Grow-Yoga is inspirational. The freedom to invent, to explore, and to improvise movement keeps me returning to my mat (and sometimes even venturing off of it). Grow-Yoga creates opportunities for my love of yoga to thrive. And maybe that’s it. Maybe growth and creativity are the secret ingredients that make love stay. I have a good friend who’s getting married soon. She’s smart and creative and oh-so-cool. I think she knows how to make love stay. And then there’s me. In September of last year, I began sharing a friendship with a beautiful woman. That relationship has grown into a warm romance. She’s intelligent. She’s kind. She makes me feel worthwhile. She has changed my attitude for the better. And like the kinesthetic mirror, every day we are learning more about how we interact and how we can continue to grow closer. We have built a solid foundation, we’re moving in the same direction, and our connection keeps getting stronger. And as long as our kindness toward each other continues to grow, I know we can make love stay.

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