Journey to Super Yogi
Growth through practice takes all forms and the journey is different for everyone. This month we feature a beloved member of our Funky Buddha Team as she shares her personal Super Yogi Journey. We are so proud of you Mads!
Funky Buddha entered my life in March of 2014. I was in my senior year at Hope College (Go Dutch), uncertain of what came next, and my dear friend Steph invited me to come to yoga with her. We went to a Buddha Basics Flow taught by Larissa, and after that, I tried my hardest to fit in every class I could that fit in my schedule. I accepted a position at the front desk of Holland about a year after my first class at the Buddha. That was way back when a 9 am yoga class was too early for me, which is laughable now considering I’m at the desk in Eastown for most of the 6 am classes. Back when skipping was easier than showing up and just doing the thing. Four years and eight months after my first class, I live in East Hills, work at the Eastown studio, and at the beginning of November, I became a Super Yogi.
For those who aren’t familiar with Funky Buddha language, that means you’ve taken 250 classes and get a shirt reminiscent of the Superman logo (which I wore for easily four days straight after I received it). I told one of our teachers that I was going to be writing a post for the monthly newsletter, she asked about the content, and I told her it was about my journey to becoming a Super Yogi. She was taken aback: “But haven’t you been here forever?!” And I said that that’s exactly why I’m writing this. A friend of mine reached Super Yogi status after like, ten months. So yeah, while I’ve been coming here for a while, it did indeed take me a hefty chunk of time to reach this milestone in my practice.
Throughout all of this, I’ve struggled with honoring my journey as my own and not letting myself compare my journey to someone else’s. There are still times where I feel embarrassed that it’s taken me many years to even reach 250 classes, because it shows that I lacked commitment to the practice for so long. Committing to something is not easy work, especially when it causes me to get up and do something rather than do nothing. I struggle to get to class most days, to leave my home and my pets and my Netflix. Yet through all of that, I have almost never thought, “I should have stayed home and not gone to yoga.” When I show up to practice, I show up for myself. I prove to myself that I can do something rather than nothing, that I can move forward.
The practice of yoga has evolved into a living, breathing thing for me. It has become a part of me. It is not just a way I move my body and stretch and sweat. It causes me to look inward, to reflect on my actions, movements, thoughts, interactions. To be aware. I see this everywhere, from how I move on my mat to how I speak with people at the coffee shop. Yoga is there to ask me the harder questions and to help me work through some of the clutter that I have in my life. Sometimes, it offers just enough space to help me prioritize my to do list for work or for my personal life, and other times it gives me just enough peace to focus on myself in practice. And maybe get in a little snooze during savasana. Yoga helps me find enough of whatever it is I need to be able to move through my day with ease, and to face the stressors of life changes with determination.
The beautiful joy of establishing a yoga practice is that it is always evolving. My body is more capable of moving than it was when I started yoga ten years ago. I have more awareness and intelligence about myself and what I can do, and what I am not yet able to do. I know that if I want to advance my practice, become stronger, get into and hold the more difficult poses, all I need to do is move past the walls and barriers I built, and commit. Commit to myself, the practice, the challenge of putting caring for myself at the top of my list. Super Yogi status is a big deal to me for many reasons. Mainly, it shows that there is something I have been able to commit to for nearly five years. The commitment may have faltered at times, but Funky Buddha was always there to greet me when I was ready to come back, and ready to prove that yes, I can show up for myself and do the thing. That is my joy in finding a yoga practice. That is my joy in being able to work in the space where I do yoga every day I can. That is my joy in becoming a Super Yogi.