That’s right.

It’s not that I took up pilates or the local pole fit class.

Nope–I fell in love.

It is no surprise that my rhythm and ritual practice could be comprised by love. We have all been there; love has a tendency to flip us upside down and rattle our root chakra–the chakra associated with stability and grounding. Love frequently throws it into turmoil as old patterns, fears, and emotions surface.

The irony is that this comes just after I gave a workshop in July about the importance of ritual practice in self-care. And here I am, a complete hypocrite who has sacrificed her personal rituals in the name of love.

Over the last two months, I have identified a handful of believable excuses to talk myself out of practicing and attending workshops for which I would normally make time.

My current work schedule keeps me up late–I’m exhausted and need rest.

His place is too far from my yoga studio. I don’t have the time for traffic.

I forgot my yoga clothes.

I don’t have time.

What has happened is that I have temporarily replaced one love with another.

My dedication to everything yoga quickly waned when I began to feel a similar sort of sensation arise with my new boyfriend.

Suddenly, I discovered that his arms around me for an extra hour or two has repeatedly trumped the quiet whispers from my yoga mat begging me to come practice with her sacred support.

For the first time in my life, I feel unwavering commitment to my partner and the relationship we have entered; yet, I have found myself in a period of lesser commitment to the practice of yoga.

What I have been reminded of here is just how easy it is for me to lose part of myself in relationship.

I have felt ambivalent to share certain parts of my spiritual thoughts and beliefs for fear of his judgment. It’s silly really. He fell in love with me as the earth spirit that I am knowing our differences. He has shown me nothing but full love and support. So why the fear? I don’t think I need to answer that…

Anyone who has dated me might say I can be rigid and stubborn at times, but the paradox is that I can also be too flexible–flexible in the sense of not fully being who I am and honoring all of what is important to me.

Make no mistake that I also have a very flexible body in yoga practice–and strength is what I lack.

While relationships require a middle path, that middle path still requires two whole human beings who are willing to fully be themselves with strength.

Now, every time I make a conscious choice to voice my ideas and beliefs to him without shame and fully express who I am, I feel a greater closeness.

The best days are the days when we both honor our personal practices.

The other night, I told one of my teachers that I feel like I have been cheating on yoga. He looked and me and confidently responded, “It’s okay, Melissa; you can two-time.”

That I can. And I feel lucky to be graced with the welcome and love of both my mat and man.

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