You Gotta Start Somewhere
Inspiration for Taking the Steps Toward Living & Feeling Better
Life. It’s just not linear. Our journey is a series of stops and starts and twists and turns. Some of us are able to stop and smell the roses, while others simply cannot because of the way they are wired. From the time we are little: start drinking from the bottle, stop drinking from the bottle and start drinking from the sippy cup, stop the sippy cup and start the big girl cup, etc. How about relationships, employment, habits, diet, exercise? The list goes on and on. Hopefully we are able to inhale things that serve us and exhale what does not. But often times it’s not easy to stop OR to start anew.
We seem to lose some of our childlike wonder as we age and mature. So, what happens? Reality sets in but, it’s our version of reality, our perception of reality. Often times this can be self-serving and lead us to tell ourselves we are not worthy or it’s not for us. How do we take it back to simpler times, to our youth when the sky was the limit and we knew no boundaries? Translate this to being on your yoga mat: How do we get from one pose to the next? Sometimes the sequence flows smoothly and other times it starts and stops. How about when you start a pose and then need to come out. Who is in charge of your stops and starts on the mat? Are you able to take child’s pose when you need it?
As we face these stops and starts, we encounter various “Y’s” in the road. In yoga class I like to have my students stand in Tadasana (mountain pose) with their arms outstretched to make the shape of a Y. This serves two purposes. First it makes one feel small when they stand on a mountain top or in front of the ocean this way. Every little thing we do matters but it’s nice once in a while to remind ourselves that we’re just one small part of the universe. It keeps us grounded and balanced and prevents us from strengthening our ego. Second it enables us to face our present “Y” in road head on. Life is full of choices and we are a product of them. But the cool thing is we all have so many choices in front of us and we alone can change our sails or chart a new path. It’s all up to us but You Gotta Start Somewhere.
I grew up in an era that contributed to a mindset of “no pain no gain” and this was ingrained in me for years. When I started (there’s that word again) P90X back in 2010, I ignored my right shoulder talking to me and just kept pushing through the pain. I loved the way the program made me feel and look – there’s that ego again! In 2017, I completely tore my rotator cuff and had to STOP a program I loved and START all over again. Lucky for me, I had yoga in my life, but I was very depressed going from working out every day to, get this, walking. How could walking possibly help me? Well, just like the first time Yoga X came up in the P90X series, I skipped it. I mean how could yoga possibly help me? So, I started to walk and a funny thing happened. I began to breathe again. I took different routes and looked at things from a different perspective. And I have to admit I even stopped and smelled the roses. Why is it that the thought of doing something can be worse than actually doing it? It’s amazing what can happen on walks, like with dristi (gaze), sometimes we look but we do not see.
I am also very list driven to a fault. I have lists to keep track of my lists! It’s how I function. But my lists are set up to fail. I have a list of 20 things to get done over the weekend, complete 10 and feel like I didn’t do enough. Comparatively, my wife has a list of 6 things that are realistic and when she completes it, she walks around with a sense of accomplishment. What scenario is the better one? When faced with large tasks or overwhelming projects, how do we approach them? We are a society of inhalers with short attention spans. We not only want, but demand quick fixes. When is the last time you actually sat down and read a newspaper or magazine and actually read the stories you wanted to read versus those selected for you by a computer program? You have to overcome the barriers and obstacles. You have to break down the projects and lists into bitesize portions. You have to eliminate distractions. You have to approach your “Y’s” in the road like the ants do – one grain of sand at a time. Or like the masons do – one brick at a time.
The thing I love most about yoga is that we all come from different places but we all come. Think back to your first encounter with the practice. The first time you stepped into a studio or the first time you tried crow pose and were afraid you’d smash your face. We’re all different, yet we’re all the same. We all struggle with stops and starts, twists and turns, “Y’s” in the road, unexpected events, overwhelming tasks or projects, and work life balance. You have a choice and you have a voice but You Gotta Start Somewhere. You gotta take the first step towards a better you. You gotta get the momentum going in the right direction. You gotta make tough decisions for the greater good. You just gotta.
Kevin DiDomenico came to his mat in 2010 as a way to supplement his personal fitness regimen. What initially began as a physical practice has transformed into a much more meaningful part of his life. He completed his RYT-200 certification at GoYoga in 2015 and completed a 40-hour power yoga teacher training immersion with Bryan Kest in September 2017. Kevin views leading practice as a way to share the many positive aspects of yoga on and off the mat. He appreciates that yoga offers a respite from the competition and complexities of life and that everyone has to start somewhere both on and off the mat. His heated power vinyasa classes are thought provoking and physically challenging, yet inclusive. Kevin has also attended workshops with Rolf Gates, Patrick Beach and Sage Rountree.