My love affair with Yoga and why it is a good thing…
For almost 20 years I have been having a love affair with yoga. From taking my very first class yoga has provided me with a foundation for personal growth, evolution, and dealing with challenges in life’s ever so changing and sometimes critical ways. Especially during COVID-19.
The yoga that I practice has evolved as I have grown over the years and has helped me learn how to be a better person, wife, stepmother, aunt, friend, and businesswoman. It provides me a rich framework to enjoy and savor the joys in my life, and embrace my mistakes and challenges with greater peace, confidence, and compassion.
I strongly believe yoga is an exceptional framework practice because what we learn on the mat translates to living a richer life off the mat!
On a physical level working with yoga poses and certain breathing techniques helps the mind and body to learn how to better work together in a coordinated way.
The more we work with our body by practicing the poses, the more we understand our postural alignment within the poses and of movement and breath as well as our thoughts and perceptions as they arise. We begin to become more coordinated managing it all as we come into greater alignment with both our inner and outer selves.
Confidence does not have to mean you always appear strong. opinionated and invincible. We can be confident in who we are and confident in how we feel. Sometimes it is letting our guard down, and not pretending we are anything other than who we are in each moment… happy, sad. vulnerable, disappointed, ecstatic, bored, exhausted, thrilled, cranky, or in love.
Yoga helps confidence in both the body and the mind. We think and feel confident when we practice yoga. Also, confidence is linked to doing. It is not letting your doubts consume you. It is taking action. It is a willingness to get out of your comfort zone and do hard things, such as having resilience and not giving up. Confidence is the stuff that turns thoughts into action.
I like what my favorite Budda Yogi says ‘The most important pieces of equipment you need for doing yoga are for your body and your mind.’ Rodney Yee
There is a deep need in all of us to feel and know that we are accepted, connected, and a part of something bigger than ourselves. Yoga helps us find connections first within ourselves through breath and movement. Yoga also teaches how to connect to your own self-worth, to a place within us that is generous, confident, wise, and loving. When we see these qualities in ourselves we can more easily see these qualities in others.
When we are connected to these qualities we learn that we are all worthy of feeling safe, trust, respect, and love. I am huge on wanting love! Especially raised in a large household and my Mother was either working or to tired to give me a lot of attention. The more we can connect with those qualities the more those qualities begin to show up in our lives and in the world at large.
One of the biggest gifts practicing yoga has given me is learning and practicing compassion toward others and myself. As I unroll my yoga mat each time to practice I remind myself to hold a kind and gentle space for myself. Sometimes I would look around in class (before Covid-19) and wonder what that person is going thru at home. I give a warm smile who sits next to me knowing we are all going thru something, and just maybe that person needed that warm smile.
Cultivating compassion in your life can change how you speak to and treat others, and yourself. Acting with compassion opens us up to life and helps us remember that we are all in this together and we all experience thoughts and feelings.
When you recognize these things in yourself and others you begin to cultivate compassion and a kinder and more honest mindset. Practicing living life with greater compassion and kindness also has serious benefits. Research clearly demonstrates that people who treat themselves with self-compassion rather than self-criticism take greater responsibility for their mistakes and are more motivated to try again after failure. As a result, they are less depressed and anxious, have greater confidence in their abilities, and are less upset when things don’t go well.
The one thing I have seen over-and-over again is that yoga transforms people from the inside out. It helps tap into your own inner power and strength. The more each of us works to become empowered, compassionate, and living life in alignment with our purpose, the more it helps us and in turn, helps others. Yoga provides a platform for this and so much more. Not only is yoga so good for my soul, mind, and body but I love to practice with my husband, family & friends.
So if you are ever in the area of Lake Wallenpaupack, PA over the summer months join me dockside as I do my yoga practice on the beautiful lake.
Tuesday’s and Thursday’s at 8:30 am. FREE Bring a mat and towel. Stay in touch!
Namaste, (a gesture of love and respect)
Yoga with C