The physical aspects of yoga first brought me to my mat. After decades of being a competitive athlete, I wanted to see if everything I had heard about yoga building strength and flexibility could be true for me.
And so I went, propped my tight hips up on blocks and blankets, and waited.
The physical changes happened right away. It took me almost a year to feel the deeper parts of the practice tugging at my spirit.
I remember those first initial tugs as I started to sense the power of breath and meditation, and I found myself bringing my mind back to my practice more and more – even when I wasn’t at the studio. While I didn’t have words for it then, I was beginning to track mindfulness in my body.
I started to delve deeper into the foundations of the practice. It almost seemed like too much at once: the history, the eight-limbed path, how I was feeding my body and an ever-expanding lexicon of poses.
And still, the gentle tug was pulling me deeper.
Change really happened when I decided to listen to the calling and dedicate time to focusing on what was really speaking to me: my own healing and evolution. In class, I often share the quote, “what we focus on is what we get.” When I take time to focus on my healing and evolution, I get closer to where I want to be.
A consistent practice of yoga, meditation, and conscious eating ultimately leaves us with a choice: do we do what we have always done – or do we choose healing?
Our healing revolution begins when we recognize that we want something better for ourselves. That realization itself is a win! The next step in this revolution is deciding to do something with that knowledge, and using the things in our life that aren’t working for us as stepping stones to our transformation.
Every moment is an opportunity to do something different. As we go deeper in the practice, particularly in intensives or trainings, we are really giving ourselves the gift of time. It takes hard work to sort out the difference between the calling of our spirit, and the calling of our story. All of us have little and big ways of covering up the hurt and pain that we carry with us. This usually manifests itself most in the way we treat ourselves: without compassion, without understanding.
Our story says, “we can’t, we won’t.“ It tells us, “we aren’t good enough, it’s too late for change.” But the voice of our story can be silenced. With practice, our ears and our hearts begin to tune in to the voice of our spirit – calling us closer to where we want and need to be.
About the Author:
Pete Guinosso (E-RYT 500) helps students connect with their hearts. His gentle guidance and intuitive assists allow students of all levels to step out of their comfort zones and find their own authentic path in the practice. Pete’s classes offer strong, vigorous sequencing grounded in the breath and intention, and always leave room for playfulness and fun. Drawing from his years as a scientist, Pete approaches his practice with a sense of curiosity and wonder. He also draws from what initially brought him to the yoga mat: over twenty-five years of running, cycling, and competitive sports. His light-hearted exploration of going deeper on a path that is both physical and spiritual has created a thriving community of yogis in the San Francisco Bay area and around the world. Inspired by his love of travel and the outdoors,
Pete offers a wide range of yoga adventures each year, around the world and close to home. His passion to guide students into their role as skilled, authentic yoga teachers and healers led him to create his signature Lighting the Path teacher training. Pete tours internationally for workshops, festivals, trainings and retreats. For more about Pete and his community, visit petegyoga.com.