If you were to look up “Kristen” in a thesaurus, you’d probably find the first synonym “vino lover.” However, since I’ve begun the practice of yoga just about a month ago, I’ve experienced profound internal changes–I would honestly call them near religious experiences. In my stillness, I am able to process the deepest of emotions–grief, regret, loss, trauma and despair. Yes, I’ve cried on my mat. I’ve been able to release these pains from my past and let go of all that does not serve me. I feel grounded, balanced, present, vibrant, alive, awake, full of hope and inner peace–more than I’ve felt in decades and it’s absolutely divine.
So back to the thesaurus– the more I practice yoga, the less I want to drink. In fact, I don’t have a desire for alcohol anymore. The detoxifying feeling yoga brings to my mind, body and spirit, seems poisoned and defeating when I drink alcohol. Upon deep reflection, I drank (notice the past tense) for three main reasons: to escape, to numb pain, to alter and hide from reality–everything contradictory of my yoga journey.
Now, rather than vino, I’m turning to vinyasa and I couldn’t be more at peace with this decision. Yoga is so much more than a past time or hobby, it is the keystone of my healing, of self-discovery, of letting go of any ego and humbling myself to all this life has to offer and my place in it.
When I used to think of traveling the world, I’d dream of sipping local wines from exotic regions. Now I dream of downward dogs and chaturangas on a tropical beach or majestic mountaintop.
I no longer like how I feel when I’ve consumed alcohol. It effects my practice negatively and the journey is just too important right now. Does this mean I’ll never drink again? I’m not sure. Dining with friends and social occasions will probably tempt me into a fine red blend, but for now, the mat is the only therapy I desire. So my new thesaurus definition–vinyasa lover!
What’s your opinion on practicing yoga and drinking?