I have been a farmer, a carpenter, a metal worker, a potter, a painter, a mason, and much more. I have always worked with my hands and body and my movements have been etched into my muscles and joints. I began practicing yoga because of the pain I felt in my body. Within the practice I found much more than just physical relief. I found a way to look out at the world that afforded me a great stillness of the mind.
The practice does not make you untouchable. I still fear being alone, I fear losing those I love, I fear losing my sense of identity rooted in my work and my yoga, I fear having to act within uncertainty, I fear I am not adequate, I fear as a teacher that I will have an off day and I will lose the one opportunity to bring a new student into an understanding of this practice, I still have hip pain. But the practice does allow you to become undaunted by fear.
So it doesn't matter to me if you've practiced yoga for a day or for years, it doesn't matter to me if you can touch your toes or if you have the right kind of yoga clothes. What matters to me is that you show up. That you have the courage to be an active participant in both your pain and your joy and that you also have the humility to realize neither one of these will always be completely in your control.
Why I practice
Practice and all is coming. -Sri Pattabhi Jois
Why I teach
Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured. -Iyengar