I was in bridge pose on my purple sticky mat one moment and then suddenly I found myself in a strip club. I was bent over backward in shiny heels smiling at a bald man with glasses chugging a beer.
I felt my chest expand open with light as these two very different moments of my life converged—dark, dirty bar filled with drunk men and sunny living room occupied by my daughter and I practicing yoga.
I’ve had these stripper flashbacks in yoga poses before. My hatha yoga practice has taken me deeper into finding meaning in these odd experiences. Asanas closely resemble many of the poses I struck as an adult entertainer and model. Could it be that even then, before I was on a spiritual path, that my self was trying to point me in the right direction? And perhaps at the time I was not yet ready to receive the message and start the journey?
My revelations regarding physical poses help me heal today. When my body takes a familiar pose that pulls up past memories, I allow the memories to surface. I practice being non-judgmental of the woman I was then and refocus on the present and the fact that the pose is just for me now. I am no longer performing for others. I now refocus on correct alignment, a quiet mind and strength, rather than how my pose looks to others and how much money it can make me.
Yoga asanas are doorways to my past, but from a centered self who knows where she wants to be today. I am able to make different choices about how I use my body and how my spirit expresses itself through that body.
I hope that Genevieve will learn a love for and respect for her body not easily achieved by most women today.