I began my yoga practice because I did not know what else to do about uncertainties in my life. I was overwhelmed with stress, anxiety and the reactionary behavior would inevitably develop. The physical aspect of yoga asana was not what got my attention. Yoga was the answer to my search for a way to cope with daily things and a way to love myself and others more deeply.
I have been training and racing bicycles for several seasons now and before that I ran marathons and raced mountain bikes. I have always had the personality that drives head on into something I consider of value. Training has always been that way. Managing a specific diet, doing the right combination of workouts, and sleeping as much as possible were all aspects of training that I embraced completely. It is no different with my yoga practice. Rather than wading into the shallow end of the pool, I dove in completely. Training is primarily a selfish endeavor. This does not make it bad, but the reality of it is that priorities change. Yoga is a life-long practice that evolves over time. Training is much the same way but the impact it has on those around me is not nearly as beneficial.
I was missing the part in my life that enabled me to have loving healthy relationships, accept failures, and be so much more content with my present circumstances. My relationships with those around me have become much more to me than they were. My ability to love others with less judgment and greater patience has grown immensely. My practice has taught me that the greater the love I have for myself the more capacity I have to love others as well as receive love. Granted I did not know this benefit when I began the practice of yoga; I just knew that releasing myself to the mat daily and focusing on the present was the first step.
My ego is primarily fed through the training I do similar to the yang practice in yoga. My intention in my yoga practice is more commonly to utilize the asana practice to ground me and reign in my need for power and control. This is incredibly liberating, I highly recommend it. The balance between all of these aspects of my life creates my yoga journey because I am made aware and feel them in my body every day on my mat. This is a life worth living.
Matt Porter is on his yoga journey and will be continuing his formal studies under Isabelle Casey & Rachel Goldberg in Be Yoga’s 200 Hour Teacher Training this coming fall. He can often be found riding his bike all over or on his yoga mat. Matt has worked with children and at risk youth for nearly 4 years. It was at one of these programs that he and his wife Sandefur crossed paths. Matt’s desire in life is for those around him to recognize the potential to change and the power to do so.