What's in a name? A memory. The power to evoke a feeling. An announcement. A statement. A revelation. When I arrived at the blog page for my website, I knew I wanted a name not only reflective of myself, but of yoga. To represent yoga it needed to be dualistic. Playful and spiritual, old but new, flexible but strong. To represent me, it needed to house part of my personal history.
During teacher training a myriad of books were recommended for further reading. One of those books was Yogini by Janice Gates. I knew immediately while leafing through the pages that I wanted to read this book. I ordered it from Amazon shortly after finishing my training.
The book itself is beautiful, but the contents are more so, chronicling the history of women in yoga before delving into individual profiles of some of the most influential female yogis throughout history and modern times. Beyond the inspiring stories and messages of the yoginis profiled, the book left me with a sense of wonder at the ancient science of yoga coming full circle as women become more influential on the practice, which was originally only accessible to men. Yoga, like all things in life, has improved with the balancing of masculine and feminine aspects. I found a humbleness taking up residence in my soul to be graced with the opportunity to experience yoga at a time when it is influenced so deeply by feminine energy. To be able to call myself a yogini and join in the collective energy of female practitioners.
Rewind twenty-five years to a little girl running into her Grandparents' house. Her Grandpa sits at the end of the table in an oak chair. He's leaning back, the chair balanced on its back two legs, the trim on the wall behind him dented from years of this habit. A hand rolled cigarette is perched between the middle and pointer fingers of his right hand, which rests casually on the chair's arm rest. A crooked smile graces his lips and in a rich, deep voice that resonates from his chest he sings Coraley-ley-ley, la ley-ley-ley, la lie.
It has been fifteen years since my Grandpa passed away and I can still hear his voice singing that song to me as though he is sitting right next to me. There are days where the memory of this song pops into my head unbidden and draws forth a smile to my face as easily as it did when I was seven. Like magic my Grandfather's voice lives inside of me, untouched by the passing of time. Untouched by the passing of his physical body into the universal consciousness.
So what's in a name? A glimpse into the tiny little, gloriously fragmented, mismatched yet somehow wonderfully cohesive pieces of a life; the melting point between the history of the yogini and the history of my life. A union.