39 Years of Yoga

March 7, 2011
Abby Lentz

39 years ago today I became a mother for the first time. It also marks the beginning of my yoga practice. In 1972 I had never even heard of yoga, but there it was, offered as a part of the YMCA's Mother's Day Out program in Charleston, WVA.

Home from the hospital. Happy Birthday Nathan!

I instantly fell in love with yoga. Young, trim even after having a baby, there wasn't anything I couldn't do on the mat. Stand on my head — did it while listening to Johnny Carson's monologue. Plow pose — could bring my shins to the floor and cover my ears with my knees.

Now older, heavier and much wiser, I know so much more about what being on the mat is all about. It's never about the poses — it's all about where they lead you. Success can be measured not by how triumphant you look on the mat, but just by showing up and doing your best for that day.

I wish I could tell you for these 39 years I've been on the mat everyday, but there's always been gaps and misses. Perhaps more mat time is the gift I'll give myself for the next 39 years. Hope you'll give yourself more mat time too — if only sitting quietly and doing some deep breathing.

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