Being alive is really strange. There’s all the thoughts and feelings. All the contradictions that spring up. All the weird interplay between ‘acceptable normality’ and the oftentimes total fucking chaos of life in motion.
I’ve always been one of those people for whom ‘reality’ was a fluid, working concept, rather than anything objective. And I always had a lot of creative fire, enjoying sparks of inspiration and the unpredictable directions they took me in. Over the years though, this tendency has got me in all sorts of trouble, and I’ve scorched myself more than once.
A flicker of curiosity is fabulous for beginning a spiritual practice, but feeling fiery can also be an obstacle to sensible life choices. In my experience, it helps to build a strong container to hold your flames. The hearth that keeps the house warm and stops it from burning to the ground. For me, yoga is a hearth building practice.
So, I am writing to the curious, the fantasists, the creatives, the weirdos, and the thought junkies. Yoga is for everyone who wants to try it, even if you have a mind that is always whirring, a tenuous relationship with self discipline, and a suspicion that mental and physical wellbeing might be, well… boring.
I’ve been practicing yoga for over ten years. Initially, I was looking to move my body and quiet my mind. I started with a DVD of basic asana, eventually joined classes, and learned from lots of different teachers. My curiosity took me to some unexpected places, not least when I began to grasp that yoga was not just stretching in interesting ways, but involved the integration of energy, breath, physical form, meditative states, spiritual awareness, and daily life. The more I learned, the more I felt a positive impact when I rolled up my mat and went back to the world. I started to appreciate the transformative power of yoga practice.
I am sending out these hearth letters to others who, like me, wish to explore. I am writing them because I find stringing words together to be a constructive use of energy, and I hope they reach people who find them entertaining, interesting, or helpful.
There’s a lot of different ways to build a hearth. If my approach or beliefs don’t resonate with you, then that’s fine. My experiences and reflections are my own, and I support the right of every person to make their own sense and/or nonsense in their own way. I make no claims about consistency, because my reality changes on a regular basis. See above.
I don’t have that many answers. But I have a lot of curiosities.
Lots of love,