Yoga is more than your physical practice (aka asana). Yoga is not a religion. It is a journey to oneself, connecting the Higher Power (whatever name you give). It is a spiritual practice. Yoga gives you the tools to move from a place of imbalance to balance.
If your yoga practice expands you and gives you joy, then it is the right yoga practice for you. The best yoga practice is when it is integrated into your life. Namaste!
Yoga gives you the tools to move from a place of imbalance to balance.
Why practice yoga? What benefits do you get? There are the physical benefits, strength & flexibility, stress relief and weight loss. On a deeper level, you learn to be with your thoughts & breath, learn to be with yourself, even learn to love yourself. You become a better version of yourself each time you spend time on your mat.
I am a big believer in practicing what you preach. It can be difficult, don’t get me wrong. It IS difficult. And I am going to toot my own horn today because I deserve it.
I had the opportunity to practice what I preach today.
First lesson, breathing in and through the moment of uncomfortableness because that moment is the only moment that is real. It is the only moment that can be truly controlled. I received some unpleasant news one hour before I needed to show up to teach. I was in shock, heart pounding, and hurt. All I could tell myself was to breathe; deep, steady breaths. It’s what I say to all my students as they are sitting with their hips on the heels, their toes tucked under in the appropriately name “broken-toe pose.” I took deep inhales, and loud exhales, releasing the stress and tension. I listened to my heart
beat pound in my ears, thinking, “I’ll meditate before class.” The Universe/God/Higher Self has a sense of humor. I didn’t get the time alone, in fact, I received the opportunity to work on lesson number two: putting my big girl panties on (being assertive) and dealing with the unpleasantness face-to-face. I, who runs from confrontation. I, who would rather deal with it through email. I, who would rationalize it away. I, who would try to ignore it. I did none of those things this time. I remained calmed and spoke. I remained calm and listened. I remained calm and taught my class. When thoughts of the future presented anxiety and possible tears, I came back to my breath and the present moment. And it worked. It truly worked!
Third lesson, show up on your mat. Instead of going home and pulling the covers over my head, I went to a yoga class. A grounding, challenging yoga class. I rolled out my mat and practiced. I focused on my inhale and exhale, how I moved through the poses, finding my inner strength and peace. I softened into my savasana and found my answer. I found love and peace and forgiveness for the hurt. I was able to authentically send love and blessings. I received peace about what to do that can only come when you take the time to ground and slow down and pay attention. I meditated and gained clarity and excitement about my solution.
Today, I showed up on my mat. Today, I experienced the peace I promise my students. Today, I took the lessons I learn on the mat into my life. Today, I share with you the importance of coming to your mat and live your life better. Today, I invite you to look at what you preach and find a way to live it!!