Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser Through Yoga

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Practicing yoga is an invitation to live up to our potential as human beings. So our mat becomes a catalyst for transformation. When we assume a yoga pose, it is not necessarily the shape of the body that counts. Rather, it is a chance to create an offering of the highest intention in our hearts. Practicing becomes our path, as we grow not just older, but better, wiser and stronger. We become so much more, both for ourselves and for those we love, every time we surrender to something greater, like Grace. Grace is in many ways reflective of the attitude we bring to the mat. It is the difference between a yoga practice that leaves you radically transformed and an exercise class. It s the difference between feeling full of hope and potential, or feeling like a schmuck. Our attitude creates the distinction between growing better, wiser and stronger on the mat, or afraid that we re going to die every time we bend over. In the beginning, the author explains, I did not know that I needed Grace. After all, I had gone through the better part of my life without anything nearly looking like Grace. You should see me dance or sing. Oh my God! A goose suffering an epileptic attack would describe my attempts at being graceful. I would never be mistaken for a soul sister. Then one day on my mat, struggling for the millionth time to touch my toes, I gave up. I said, To hell with it. And that s when it happened. The tension in my body released and I lowered down another six inches toward the floor. I got so excited I almost pulled a hamstring. All the years I had been practicing yoga I thought what I needed to touch my toes and to get better in general was more effort. But in fact, I needed more Grace. Living with ease is Grace. Living with forgiveness and acceptance is Grace. Taking the good with the bad is Grace. Saying yes first, rather than no, is Grace. Trying new experiences with a light heart is Grace. Knowing that we are filled with forgiveness just because we were born is Grace. You will need equal parts of redemption and emancipation to find transformation, which is not easy. Today, the author explains, I am stronger and more vibrant than ever before. I hauled my tired old ass out of a steep depression to live a better life. I hope to make the second half of my life my best achievement yet. The journey begins with Grace. "

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