I do not 'Love' yoga the way I Love a friend or a painting or a pet 
Yoga is how I choose to heal and learn and grow and surrender and let go
I respect yoga, it's tradition and philosophy
I honor yoga on my mat daily, when I want to or not
I study and practice asana, pranayama, meditation, yamas and niyamas and the sutras
I humble myself to yoga
I kneel in gratitude.

Sometimes I wake up full of vitality and the first thing to do is get on my mat
Other days, I resist and struggle and I do not want to look at what needs to be seen
I do not want to acknowledge or admit or own 
Sometimes it is really hard
Sometimes I drag myself to my mat and move my body, or sit on my cushion and I listen to my thoughts 
When I'm done I get up and I continue my life

And the yoga doesn't stop when I step off the mat, or get up off of the cushion
I do things and talk to people and live my life and can't help but notice my words, my tone, my body language, my breath
Because my practice opens my eyes and my ears
And I learn something every time

I do not practice yoga because I love it
I practice because I choose to keep looking 
I practice to manage my pain, my stress
I practice to open my heart and look at all beings as brothers and sisters 
I practice because it is empowering and healing 
I practice because when I study the sutras I realize it is a practical manual that teaches how to recognize suffering and ignite contentment, joy, compassion
How to quiet the mind and walk with grounded feet
To use my words kindly and Lovingly
To keep my actions compassionate
To live open heartedly, courageously, and vulnerably.

I never know what or who I will find on the mat
I'm comforted by this not knowing. 
When I practice I begin again.


Teaching People Not Poses; An Introduction to Yoga Therapy

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