“If you practice yoga once a week you will change your mind.
If you practice yoga twice a week you will change your body.
If you practice yoga every day you will change your life.”
There is a well-known quote by Martin Luther King, Jr., which says, "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase; just take the first step." This quote comes to mind every single time we step on our yoga mats, as we feel it captures the essence of what a yoga practice is to us. Through the process of allowing ourselves to fully dwell in the freshness of a beginner's mind and the fertile space of the present moment, we are provided an extraordinary opportunity to discover the depths of who we really are, understanding that the answer to “who we are” lies much deeper than what we are able to readily see and hear.
This process of "taking the first step" is a commitment that isn't always easy to make. We like to say to students that "this little thing called 'life' sometimes gets in the way." But the more consistently you practice, the more you begin to notice that yoga is no longer something you feel like you are "doing." You begin to notice that yoga is more who you are "being"; that your practice is a living and breathing expression of the way you show up in the world. The space between who we think we are and our True Self is not separated by impossible distances, but rather choices.
Sure, you can come to your mat occasionally and leave feeling much better at the end of a class or two, but the more profound transformation that occurs is as a result of a consistent and committed daily practice. It is through the repetition of the asanas (physical postures), pranayama (breath work), and dhyana (meditation) that you begin to experience the rich tapestry of your practice. This discipline is known as "tapas" in yoga tradition. It's the energy that emanates from within which encourages us to show up for ourselves, even when we might not feel like it. It is the inner passion that excites and motivates us. It is the inner strength and wisdom that gives us the courage to NOT listen to the small voice in our head that says "you aren't good enough" or "you can't do this."
When is the last time you’ve been afraid to do something and done it anyway? Can you remember? It has been our experience that looking fear squarely in the face and then consciously stepping to the other side of it is the surest and fastest way to diminish its stranglehold. The view from the other side is much clearer and brighter when it is not clouded by illusions and untruths. When the universe places in front you that opportunity, you know it. You feel it. And, yes, you may even fear it.
And then you do it anyway.
This is freedom.
This is yoga.
We opened our yoga studio in Jacksonville, Florida, with the intention of creating a reverent space for you to explore and experience your own unique practice within. Cultivating a yoga community that is nurturing, safe, inclusive, and supportive is paramount to us. We believe that, while each person is on their own unique and personal journey, a sense of belonging and fellowship fosters a deep sense of connection to each other. And through this recognition of our fundamental connection to each other, we naturally make the world a kinder, more compassionate, and much more loving place for all living beings to co-exist in.
Black Cat Yoga is Jacksonville Florida's preeminent yoga studio located in the heart of the Historic Riverside, Avondale, and Five Points Districts. We offer a variety of yoga classes designed to benefit both beginners and long-time practitioners and support all of our students while they are on the path to becoming stronger, healthier, and more balanced. Black Cat Yoga Studio is honored to serve the beautiful City of Jacksonville, Florida, and surrounding areas with group and private yoga classes taught by experienced yoga instructors who offer individualized attention so that you can explore and experience your practice at your pace and in a way that feels good and right to you each and every time you step on your mat.
Lisa and Kevin McCormack
Owners of Black Cat Yoga