It felt like no accident to be stretching my limbs in familiar fashions but for the first time in the beautiful Sanctuary Yoga studio on what happened to be Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, this week. The air was crisp and sweet, head-shakingly appropriate for a holiday that invites us to chew on apples and honey in celebration. As the late morning sun streamed through doors and onto our mats and the warm wooden floors, I breathed in deep renewal.
I like to measure my years from September to September; my birthday, the school year, and Rosh Hashanah has always encouraged this organic sense of reflection, release and revival. This past year has served as one of the most pungent journeys I’ve yet taken as a human bean, with pilgrimages through dark corners of my shadow self and the kind of clearing I truly did not know was possible. Through it all, my yoga practice has served as a consistent source of truth-telling: my mat has seen my tears, laughter, moments of panic, and great glimpses of glow.
Recently, though, the literal question of where to practice my practice had become a challenge. Austin’s yoga studios are becoming as abundant as its tacos, and just as juicy and delicious. But my favorite spots had become linked to some of the skins I was shedding, and in order to maintain integrity in my truth-telling, I needed to explore new spots. The end of the summer was a slow time of stretching in solitude on a mat that felt strange, somewhat foreign, on the ground of my own home. Often, a sweaty svasana won over a true vinyasa.
And then I found Sanctuary, an oasis of green and wind in the midst of the bustling South Lamar chaos. And there I found myself on Monday, at Aliya’s 10:30 Vinyasa flow, thinking on the Hebrew translation of my teacher’s name (“ascent” or “going up”) and the way the old can become new or the past become present or how just when you think you’ve hit a dead end, there’s a corner to turn and a whole new neighborhood to explore. And how prayers can rise from silence.
My muscles and my lungs and my heart said their thank you’s as I welcomed myself to a new space to practice and a new year in which to breathe deeply and ascendingly into sweet, old vinyasa.