I started to practice yoga while in university. It was a required course in my actor conservatory training. Prior to the first day of class, I knew little about this ancient "exercise," but was open to give it a try. My first time on the mat, I felt like I had found some new way "home." Each breath, each move, just felt right inside my body, like I had finally found my way back to something I had always known. Yoga quickly became a release to me, my yoga-mat the place I saught when I had something to sort out.
Fifteen years later, I still feel the same way. No, actually, I feel more in love with my practice every single time I step on the mat. I get a little jolt of joy with the sound of my rubber sanctuary flicking onto the floor. As I am led through Asanas, my heart opens up, my mind is freed of clutter, and my breath fills my body with compassion and acceptance. I am unable to carry anger or grudges after a yoga session; I am led towards forgiveness and empathy. Yoga has taught me to breathe through discomfort, to listen to my intuition, and to be present in the moment. Through yoga, I have learned to love who I am.
When I am leading class, I feel immense love for my students, and a great sense of gratitude that they will entrust their breath and body to my guidance.
Tonight's gratitude journal entry is dedicated to the teachers along the way who have helped me to dig deeper into my practice, challenge my perceived limitations, and accept me exactly as I am, where I am. I extend gratitude to the teachers who have helped me to find self love, and to listen to my inner voice. For helping me to deepen my practice and to nurture my sense of well being, I say THANK YOU. For sharing your passions and wisdom, I say THANK YOU. For reminding us all that we are connected through breath, that breath leads thoughts, and thoughts lead our actions, I say THANK YOU.
It is in yoga that I learned the power of Namaste, the idea that we are all connected by the same life source. The divine light that is in you is the same light that resides within me. To end our practice, we bow to that light, and show our humility and grace. To all the teachers who have taught me so much, I bow to you in gratitude.
Erin Michelle Threlfall
Theatre Artist, Activist, and Educator, Erin is the mother of a budding genius in his 7th year of study. Erin and her little man, Edem, have a plan to investigate world theatre and influence education one continent at a time. Ghana, South Korea, Togo and Bali have been checked off the list of places to live; these days they call Brooklyn home.