When I think of commitment, I immediately think of the hard work. The “advanced” poses I have practiced day after day to become accessible in my body. The high degrees I’ve earned in school that required years of education, classes I loved and classes I thought were dull or out of my range of interest or just flat out hard. I think of the relationship I’m in with my partner. The many times we’ve fought and I wanted to throw in the towel and live peacefully by myself but instead we worked through whatever was the issue of the moment.
When I think of commitment, it implies some type of struggle to overcome. But is that always the case??
Commitment is just about dedicating yourself to something. There’s no inherent need for struggle to be committed, although that’s usually when I feel it the most.
What am I committed to? and after reflecting on that question, it really became more about Who do I want to be?
I always strive to be my truest self. I strive to reframe the patterns of thinking that keep me from being my best. That could be as simple as really looking at my diet, and without the influence of the yoga community, my family, the media or any trends, what works in my body for it to function best? It could be the patterns of thought I have on beauty and success.
What do I feel in the center of my being is beautiful? What do I feel is success?
The most defining moments of my life haven’t been the struggle, but the pause right after the struggle. I remember when I moved to San Francisco, and for months I was trying to get myself situated as a yoga teacher. I struggled to find a community that both appreciated me and paid me for what I brought to the mat as a teacher. I struggled with the idea if I should even be a teacher.
I was filled with anxiety and depression. After many dark days and nights, I went to the ocean and just sat on the dunes to watch the sun go down. The sky went from grayish blue to illuminated with color. The waves crashed in quite quickly and reflected the setting sun. The water glistened. I thought that my life was like that sunset in that moment.
I think the ultimate commitment is dedicating yourself to being your best.
Some days and months it comes effortlessly, and some days and months it feels like the biggest battle ever fought. The struggles along the way don’t make you any more or less committed. I think commitment is inherent in people. It has nothing to do with results or goals, necessarily, but the deep imbedded drive to reach our fullest potential. To be explorers in this world and to work, every day, to find some type of peace within ourselves and those around us.
About the Author: Diana Oppenheim
Diana Oppenheim is an in-it-for-life yogi. The practice of yoga is her grounding force in an ever-changing world. She believes in its power to heal, expand and bring balance to life as she has experienced it first hand. In her class you will find a strong, methodical and balanced sequence that meets each student where they are at. Her main source of inspiration comes from Annie Carpenter, Margo Kellison-Lightburn and Sara Strother.
Diana teaches yoga but will always consider herself a student of life first. She has a master’s degree in Urban Planning and Community Development and for all the plans she’s created, she loves the spontaneous plot twists of life. Learn more about Diana’s teaching style via this video, and catch her on the mat at Yoga Tree 6th Avenue (view her full schedule here).