The body loves to move. That is the main purpose for its existence. To carry our souls through this physical experience. Yoga supports the body in staying strong, flexible, and balanced. The practice of Yoga provides much more than the physical aspects of exercise. Scientific research has found that a regular Yoga practice increasing mood, sleep, and decreases depression and anxiety.
My personal journey with yoga started from a young age. My mother, a hippie from the 60’s Yoga movement, practiced Yoga and meditation. While she practiced sporadically, she spoke of the value and benefits of Yoga often.
It wasn’t until I was a mother of four and both my husband and I were full time college students that I returned to a regular Yoga practice. At first my motivation was to lose the baby weight and maybe become a little more centered (aka organized). I did lose weight but something else happened. I had energy all day. I started jogging. I started researching food and creating delicious healthy food for myself and my family. I felt great as I finished school, graduated, and moved our family to Portland, Oregon.
I became very sick that year. My Yoga practice was put on hold, my energy reserved for the daily tasks of motherhood. I lost a little over 30 pounds in just a few months from being constantly ill. the doctors scrambled to fin the problem and in 2010 I learned the term Celiacs. The whole wheat I had grown up on was mysteriously making me sick.
Giving up the gluten and wheat in my diet only helped a little. My body was weakened from the last year of malnutrition and I was exhausted. I returned to Yoga slowly. First just sitting on my mat, maybe a forward bend or butterfly pose. Slowly, I began to move. Finding Sun Salutations and adding poses into the flow. My strength began to return. My energy levels steadily climbed. Fueled by my recovery, I registered for a 200 hour teacher training course, finished it and registered for the 500 hour training.
Yoga provides my body with the movement it craves, the stillness my mind requires, and the connection my spirit loves. I practice both in the morning and in the evening.
I set my intentions for the day during my morning practice. This includes things I would like to accomplish, the energy/mood I intend to cultivate that day, and a personal goal for the day (sometimes this is a weekly goal). I also take a few moments of gratitude.
During my evening practice, I reflect on my day. I try not to judge my day by how much I accomplished but rather how much I lived. If the goals i set for the day were not completed, yet, the day was successful and filled with joy….then my day was great! The great thing about life is that Tomorrow Is Another Day!
Yoga creates a stillness in action. Meditation in movement. I love it!