Hello, my loves! It feels so good to finally be back. The past few months have been a wild journey for me deep into myself and into an amazing new life. More on that later though. Today I want to talk about Ahimsa.
The foundation of yoga were recorded in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali in roughly 200AD. This sacred text provides an 8 step path toward controlling the mind and bridging the gap between the physical and energetic realms where we exist.
The 8 fold path consists of:
1. Yama – the value you hold for how you interact with your world.
2. Niyama – the values you hold for how you treat yourself.
3. Asana – the practice of postures [the piece of yoga we're most familiar with in the West.]
4. Pranayama – the managing and directing of your energy/life force, often through breath technique.
5. Pratyahara – the synchronization of your senses and thoughts.
6. Dharana – attaining one-pointed concentration.
7. Dhyana – deep meditation.
8. Samadhi – awakening to and absorption in Spirit.
Each section is further broken down into pieces. Within Yama we find the practice of Ahimsa – non violence. This practice can be interpreted in many way, but I like to pull it into my yoga practice through non violence to my body.
For me the practice of Ahimsa is extremely important in my asana practice. It’s easy to get caught up in the visual aspects of yoga. We see amazing yogis on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. and it’s hard not to compare ourselves to what we see. Yes, even teachers. My body has travelled a long way down a hard road of recovery, yet still I push myself beyond my limits.
Many of you know that ten years ago I fractured my back. I didn’t listen to my body then, didn’t even know I could actually, and allowed scar tissue to build around the injury by continuing to dance competitively for 6 months. Because of the scar tissue, the fracture wasn’t able to heal properly and is still present in my body today. While rehabilitating I began compensating and set up some unfortunate alignment patterns.
Let’s jump ahead to this past December. I had been teaching 9 classes a week, demoing on a cold body [boooo!] and still unaware of these insane alignment issues I had been carrying for 10 years. By the end of a month I was unable to walk without intense pain, let alone practice asana. Enter Ahimsa.
It was easy for me to tear myself apart when this happened. I felt horrible, and boy does the ego love that. I wanted to be back on my mat more than anything, moving the way I used to – doing arm balances and advanced postures – but I couldn’t and still can’t.
After months of beating myself up, seeing yogis on IG rocking incredible postures I had a little breakthrough. It’s OKAY if I don’t do those poses. It’s okay if I NEVER do those poses. It’s okay if all I can do is a modified sun salutation. IT’S OKAY.
With the practice of non-violence to the body we can create the space we need to allow our bodies to move and create in a way that is safe and supported.
So how does this practice apply to the Onzie spring collection? Well, it is the best example I have to show you all my journey.
When Onzie asked if I would write another piece on their line I was so excited. I LOVE their cloths. I was also a little worried. I thought, ‘damn, my practice looks like shit. How am I going to photograph their clothing – which is worn by incredible yogis who can do things I can only dream of – and make them happy?’
That, of course, was my initial thought. A thought rooted in fear and ‘you’re not good enough.’ But then I thought, they asked ME. They want to work with ME. Not with an idea of what I should be, but with who I am. So I went out and did what I could, which was a lot of sitting, some backbends [which are surprising fantastic for my body unlike forward folds] and some falling.
I had FUN. I enjoyed the shoot and I’m really happy with the outcome.
Now let’s talk Onzie…
You guys know my love affair with this company. Everything they make, every piece of the process is done in Los Angeles, and you can wear everything in the water. Their spring line is even better than I expected. Awesome new patterns and my favorite piece they’ve ever put out: the sweetheart leotard.
Now, the sweetheart leotard is a little tough for yoga because of the full open back. I like to pair mine with the elastic bra top for some added coverage when I’m doing any kind of movement, OR you can rock it as a swimsuit. Double win.
I also got a pair of their long leggings in the new skyline patter and have a hard time taking them off. I’m a shorty coming in at a whopping 4’11 and the pants are little long in a great way. They wrap around the ankle and rest just below the ball of my foot, which is my preferred way to rock leggings. The pants are light but strong, which is always a big deal for me. My leggings take a beating so I need something that holds up without weighting me down. After months of wearing my long leggings at least 3 times a week, and many washes, my leggings still look and feel great. They haven’t faded at all and the seams are still perfectly intact -even on the inner thigh. Plus the bottom of the legging that wraps over my heel hasn’t worn AT ALL. They get mega bonus points for that one.
And washing them is super easy. I wash mine on delicate in the washer and hang them to dry. Since their line is created to go into water, everything air dries super fast.
The Spring Collection is full of bright colors, AWESOME patterns and some new styles. Plus their ‘Be Your Own Superhero’ campaign is so on point with the work this spring is bringing. Find your self-worth, root into your personal power and let it shine in your movement. A clothing company that helped me find ahimsa… what more can you ask for in a connection like this? Thank you, Onzie!
l o v e + l i g h t
so glad to be back!