Category Archives: Yoga
Recently, I returned to my yoga mat after a 6 week absence. I haven’t missed this much yoga in 4 years. I don’t really know why my break was so long. I think life gets busy and sometimes, it is easier to stay late at work, cook an extra special meal, or sleep a little longer than it is to hop in the car and go to the studio. Those are all just excuses, really. There is always time when we make the time. I don’t know exactly what kept me away for so long.
I haven’t really shared much of my yoga on this blog. I’ll reserve “how yoga saved me” for another day. In the meantime, I will say this – yoga is essential to my well-being. It has nothing to do with weight-loss or cute Lululemon clothing, but has everything to do with balance and overall health. What brought me back to my mat? Panic. Take that with a grain of salt – I’m not really a panic-er. But, my marathon is a week from today. Maybe urgency is a better. So I asked myself: “Self? Are you doing everything you can be doing for your mind and body to properly prepare for this race?” I responded (to myself), “Funny you should mention, Self, I was just on my way to yoga right now.” Good ‘ol “Self” always so smart.
I swear yoga is the reason I avoid as much injury as I do (knock on wood). It helps me remain in tune with my body, maintain the appropriate amount of flexibility, and detox everything. I practice heated power yoga (vinyasa) – one breath and one movement. It’s not slow and stagnant – it’s steady breath combined with simultaneous movement. If you’ve ever thought about trying yoga, I recommend this book by Baron Baptiste: Journey Into Power. If you click the link, you’ll get to Amazon where you can view/purchase. Don’t worry, this isn’t a plug. Mr. Baptiste couldn’t pick me out of a line-up.
This book really gives you a look into what yoga is and what it could mean for you - where it comes from, the philosophy, the breathing, the strength, and how to be present. I feel pretty lucky that someone gave me this book before I got started so I would understand and appreciate the practice for what it is and not just short-term or misguided goals. Because I don’t want to subject you to a three-page rant concerning my love for the various aspects of yoga, here is a list of what I love:
- the practice of being present
- the practice of gratitude, faithfulness, and peace
- flexibility of mind and body
- building and maintaining overall physical strength
- detoxifying through sweat
- detoxifying through movement
- allowing your body to surprise you
- learning and practicing the power of breathing and how to utilize different types of breath in everyday life
If you’ve read any of my posts, you’d know I have a competitive side. I’m happy to say that when it comes to yoga, I don’t. After all, yoga has nothing to do with what you can and can’t do or what the gumby err lady on the mat next to you is doing better or worse than you. It’s about the four corners of your mat and what is happening there. It’s about honoring where you are and accepting yourself and whatever your practice or life may look like on that particular day. The goal is to carry that sense of self and acceptance over to your life outside the mat. Even if you can manage moments of this, yoga has served you well. Think about it.
Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.