In my 42 years, I've fallen in love twice. When I was a teenager, I fell head over heels in love with the man who would become my husband. Then six years ago, what seems to happen so much these days, but to me was unthinkable, happened to me. My husband, my best friend and first boyfriend, left me quite suddenly.
I never thought that I would love again. Friends told me that I would, but it seemed so far fetched. In the last six years of being single, I've been through phases of trying to find love. At first, I felt I had a 'vacancy' for a partner. I was queen of dates, looking to find someone who would open my heart.
Life then took a very different turn as I quit my job as a lawyer and started my own business. The dating stopped, my heart was wedded to my new venture, Movement for Modern Life (my online yoga company), upon which I dedicated as much love, care and attention as I would do any partnership. During this period whenever I was introduced to any potential partners, I instead scornfully replied that I was 'too busy'.
Photo: Karen Yeomans
But this year something unexpected happened to me. I've started to feel again. I hadn't realised that I'd actually just been numb for the last six years of busyness whilst I was starting my business. But this year, finally, my heart softened, I started to cry and laugh again - I was in love!
Everyone said that I would fall in love again, but nobody, least of all me, had realised the shape that it would take.
I've been a yoga practitioner for over twenty years now. The kind of yoga I used to practice, when I was younger, was very physical, Ashtanga, and then dynamic vinyasa. I felt so free and my body felt so alive. But I didn't 'get' the deeper layers of yoga practice.
But over the last few years, my yoga practice has become more inwardly focused. Now my practice is bespoke every day to how I feel (that's the beauty of practicing online!). Now I notice the beauty of yoga, which I was too busy achieving poses before to realise. As yoga slows, becomes more deliberate, my breath deeper and smoother, I sometime enjoy my breath so much I almost forget to make the shapes. I've started to feel a very deep contentedness. My yoga is now very much part of my daily life and is inseparable to everything that I do. I think that I'm finally starting to understand what 'doing yoga' is now, and how it feels. It doesn't feel like a shape, but it does feel like a sense of connectedness to all of life. What does this feeling of interconnectedness feel like? It's very much like love. It's a very deep sense of wonder, enchantment, and curiosity.
(photo: Movement for Modern Life)
So my friends will have their way, just as they predicted, and I always denied - I have fallen in love again. But it's with the yoga and life force within me, within us all. I own it, I have a massive crush on life, the twists and turns of daily living, of nature, animals and the planet, and of the feeling of being embodied in this human, fallible body. This Valentine's day, I'm sure that there can be no deeper love than this, and I'm so grateful to have found a love like this.
Bio: As Founder of Movement for Modern Life, I've made finding your own true north, your own centre, my mission. Our classes are searchable by the emotion you might be looking for, and but the Challenge I think you'll love the most is our Embrace your Essence Challenge. Do this every day and you'll start to fall right back in love with yourself ready to be your own Valentine.