I have been thinking about starting this blog for quite awhile now. I have wanted to find a place to share my path and what I have gained. Just in the past few weeks, however, have the specifics become evident. I just started a Yoga Teacher Training program, and while thinking about how I want to teach in the future, I was once again overcome with the desire to bring yoga to the legal profession, both lawyers/judges and the clients/litigants.
Since entering law school, I have struggled with being a lawyer-yogi. Lawyers have a tendency to view yoga either as fitness or just plain weird, and yogis have several pre-conceived notions about money-hoarding, unethical attorneys. While these are gross generalizations, I found myself bombarded by them, struggling to exist in both worlds, not only because I "had" to, but because I truly enjoy them both. Yoga was a spiritual sanctuary, where my body and mind were free, while the law provided the intellectual nourishment that I have craved my entire life. Deep down I know that the law can provide real justice, and I am driven to find ways to make that happen more often. And so, as I began a new legal job and entered a program to one day be able to (legally) share yoga with the world, I decided to chronicle my attempts to join the two. As we studied the first Yama (an ethical standard and how we conduct ourselves externally in life--one of the 8 limbs of yoga), Ahimsa (non-violence), I found myself thinking how wonderful it would be if more lawyers and their clients approached their cases with non-violence. And the idea of "Is Yoga Legal?" was born! Is Yoga Legal? will be a place to explore yogic principles and how they can be applied to the law, as well as daily life.
So why start typing today, more than two weeks after the idea was born? Well, today I went to a T'ai Chi discussion where the topic of what I "do" in life arose (I hate when that happens). I told the teacher that I work for a judge (one of the benefits I want to gain from this writing experiment is to get to the point where I can respond, "I'm a lawyer."). His eyes sort of lit up, and he honored the fact that it is a difficult struggle trying to live between the two worlds, but that it is a beautiful practice. My heart melted, and I felt safe . . . safe to be this dualistic me. (Must drop footnote here---by duality, I do not mean separate from the universe duality, but in this phenomenal world where we eat, breath, sleep, play, and work, I live in what feel like parallel universes.) Today's teaching focused on staying centered and balanced, not just during practice, but always. There is no doubt that this has been my goal for a long time, but for whatever reason, I was scared to share my two worlds with each other. Centering and balance are the only way to live within them simultaneously.
I have been struggling with this duality for a long time. My senior year in high school, my english teacher asked us to write a final paper about ourselves, based upon an -ism. I chose dualism. At the time, I thought I was unique, but looking back, what 18-year-old is not a study in duality? But I digress . . . As yet more proof of how beautiful and perfect this world is, that same english teacher is the first person with whom I ever practiced T'ai Chi.
So, I have come full circle, and it is time to face my duality, to understand it, and to share this journey. In the beginning, it is said that G-d created the Heaven and the Earth. T'ai chi and qi gong focus on bringing heaven and earth qi together, within the person. I want to use this blog to finally unite my dualities, to become one not only with everyone else, but with myself. And I want to share that unity with others. While my existence in typical, American society is based mostly on my interaction with the legal world, the ideas here will hopefully transcend the law and will be a place to explore yogic principles, such as non-violence and so many more, and how we can utilize them every day, whether arguing in an adversarial environment or standing in line at the grocery store.
I look forward to sharing this journey with you, and thank you for being a part of it.
Namaste and blessings!