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  • Writer's pictureMicheal Sinclair

Liberty & Death | The Liberation Issue




I came to Yoga looking for freedom. I wasn’t attracted by the allure of having a flexible body. I wasn’t moved by the claims of having a more balanced life. Hell, I wasn’t even interested in trying to pick up Yoga chicks. The only reason I tried Yoga is because some old man in some old book told me that Yoga & meditation would help me get free. And for some reason, I felt inclined to trust him.


From the outside looking in I looked just as free as anyone else. And to be fair, the privileges that this body allowed me made me more physically free than many other people. But on the inside, this body felt like a prison. This mind felt like a prison. This world felt like a prison. It felt like life was something that was just happening to me against my will. It felt like earth was a place where souls were sent to be punished and that I was serving a life sentence.


In the summer of 2014, the combination of learning of my mother’s stage 4 cancer diagnosis and the frequency of black men being murdered by police with impunity both made me feel like a helpless prisoner who would soon face a similar fate himself. And I just wanted to be free from the burden of life. Free from the burden of death. Free from the burden of existing in a constant state of “who’s going to die next?”


Well, later that same year, I had my first run in with the freedom I was seeking. Ironically, I found freedom in a very confined space. I was in the modest walk-in closet of my apartment in Oklahoma City. I had just left work early because I was having an anxiety attack. And honestly, I went into that closet out of desperation. For months I’d be trying & failing to reconcile with the fact that my mother was very sick & I didn’t know what else to do. So for the first time, I stopped trying to figure out what to do. And instead, I sat my ass down. I closed my eyes & began to watch my breath, intentionally.


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