My Yoga, Your Yoga, It’s All Yoga!
I began my journey with yoga years ago when I first took a class at a YMCA and realized “Hey, I’m pretty good at this.” Having taken years of dance lessons when I was much younger, I found that I still held onto some of that natural flexibility and balance that made dancing come so easy to me all those years ago. In yoga classes, I could do backbends and headstands, reminding me of my lessons in acrobatics. And I was GREAT at savasana (corpse pose, and the release of body, breath and mind)! Yoga classes made my body feel great, and I soon found that it naturally calmed and centered my mind too. As a psychologist the “mind stuff” fascinated me. Through yoga classes I would find an emotional clarity that I had never experienced before, and similar to what we strive for when counseling others. Could I have found the perfect therapy for mind, body, and soul?
Yoga means many things to many people. One translation of the first yoga sutra states that yoga is the cessation of the fluctuation of the mind. According to Wikipedia “Yoga is a commonly known generic term for the physical, mental, and spiritual practices …with a view to attain a state of permanent peace.” Some yogis have stated simply that it is the journey to quiet the mind, or the ego. To me it’s all of these things, as well as a continuous – and often challenging- journey to live mindfully. Thinking about it in this way I would say that yoga can be anything you want it to be for you: a challenging hike, a round of golf, playing with your toddler, or even that Crossfit workout that you love to hate. These are all mindfulness practices, in unique ways. When you’re in the middle of that WOD, making that final putt, or reaching the pinnacle of that mountain, how often do you find your mind wandering? Probably not a lot. And if it is, you’re probably not doing it right. This is yoga.
Though I practice as much as I can, I admit that I don’t practice asana (yoga postures) every day right now. Being 8 months pregnant while taking care of a very active toddler makes it difficult! BUT I PRACTICE YOGA EVERY DAY. I practice it in the way that I eat, and have an appreciation for where food comes from, how the animals were treated, and who the farmers are. I practice yoga on my walks with my daughter, allowing time to tell her about the trees, encourage her to smell the flowers, and admire the bugs or animals on our path. I practice yoga when I’m driving, and find myself growing frustrated with other drivers or the constant red lights, taking time to take a breath and stay in this moment, not the next. I practice yoga by striving to be as compassionate and understanding of others as I can be, no matter how difficult. I practice yoga when, in the rush of everyday life, I remember to take a moment and look at my beautiful family and appreciate this breath and this moment above all else.
This is my yoga – what’s yours?
Contact me to help you practice every day.