When I was a very young child, I thought God was many things. At one point, our priest showed up at our door to play tennis with my parents, and I informed them "God is here, and he is wearing tennis whites!" I also remember (my family never let me forget via teasing) being on a plane, looking out of the window and asking, “Is this heaven? Is this where God lives?” I was raised in an Episcopal home. My parents divorced when I was 3 or 4, and as my family grew, we accrued multiple religions, and my landscape broadened. I was a Sunday school teacher when I was in middle school and high school. When I went to college, I started studying Theology as well as Mythology, and it seemed the more I learned about organized religions, the less I connected with any one in particular.
When I came to Yoga, like many others, I was an unhappy person, desperately seeking something to believe in or hold on to. I had zero faith in pretty much anything or anyone, least of all in myself.
After that first class, my life was forever changed. I left feeling amazing. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I felt hope that life could get better, and I just maybe had the ability to see things differently. This was Yoga??? How did I not know about this amazing transformative, heart-opening practice?! I kept showing up. Every day. Each class, each new teacher, I learned something new: about the philosophy of Yoga, new ideas, ways of thinking, something new about my body (I never knew I could be so strong), and something new about my self (I never knew I could be so strong.) Where I had lost myself in all the different areas of my life, in Yoga, I was able to find little bits of myself over time, and of course, am still discovering and learning every day.
While I may not believe in “church” or Christianity, or Judaism, I know that I believe in the transformative and healing powers of Yoga. I know that if I keep showing up to my practice every day, with an open heart, open mind and open body, listening, I will never stop learning. I know that I believe that there is a more compassionate way to live, to treat others and to treat myself. I know that I have so much love to give, and want so much to share with anyone and everyone who is open and receptive, the love and gratitude I have for Yoga. I am so grateful every moment for this amazing Yoga system and to all of the beautiful teachers and students (who are also my teachers) I am blessed to be able to learn from every day. The potential for emotional and spiritual growth on this path seems limitless, and that, for me, is absolutely something to believe in. Faith restored.