“Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life, but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better.” - Donna Farhi
It’s February and love is in the air. It fills the store aisles in preparation for Valentine’s Day and is all over the airwaves in music, movies, and TV. I used to find immense frustration in the commercial aspect of love during the month of February. As I’ve delved deeper into what it means to love and be loved, though, I can now appreciate the holiday as a time to tune into the feeling of love we all have within us in order to fully appreciate it and share it with others throughout the year!
A guest post from Jenniferlyn (JL) Chiemingo of The Travel Yogi.
Oh sweet bikini, I love you so much. You are now faded and sand-worn and it’s time to retire you. I don’t want to let you go because you hold so many memories; memories of great beaches, experiences, and even crazy close-up animal encounters. I have grown and changed while wearing you. I have laughed and cried while wearing you. These experiences reside in my heart, but I still associate them with you.
Has the passion for your yoga practice faded? Is your motivation to hit the mat at an all-time low? Can’t seem to make it to your regular classes anymore, and your home practice has lost its luster?
This happens to every yoga practitioner at some point. Though a regular yoga routine is comforting and familiar, if you don’t change things up from time to time, eventually that routine will turn into a rut.
A new year has commenced with the opportunity to think about the triumphs and pitfalls of the past year in order to plan for the future. Most of us set resolutions at this time. Fortunately, some of those resolutions become part of our daily life, but unfortunately others fall away shortly after we try to implement them.
Recovering from family drama. Post-holiday crowds at the stores. The financial pinch from buying all those holiday gifts. The cleanup after hosting your in-laws for two weeks. The temptation to eat all that leftover food in one sitting. The new year can start out stressful!
Stability and steadiness in your physical body and in your life can seem elusive. There’s either too much going on or not enough. That’s where yoga comes in.
“Yoga is meant to be a full practice, one that encompasses all aspects of one’s life,” says Mark Van Buren, a yoga and meditation instructor in River Edge, New Jersey and author of Be Your Sh*tty Self: An Honest Approach to a More Peaceful Life. “We can use the fullness of our practice to live a balanced, liberated life.”
Invigorate Your Senses
Aromatherapy is a powerful tool that can calm or energize your senses. There are so many ways you can incorporate the benefits of aromatherapy into your home: candles, essential oils in a bath or shower, flowers and fresh fruit, and even the aromas wafting from your kitchen. One of my favorite ways to fill my home with warmth and energy is to simmer a pot of water on my stove and fill it with orange peel and cinnamon sticks. The orange peel energizes while the cinnamon warms and soothes. Try this at home and watch your mood shift!
Winter has a way of gently reminding, and sometimes demanding, a different pace through life. Slow, all things slow. Which is counterintuitive for most in this fast-paced culture where more is better, and faster, and is far superior.
Giving Back the Gift of Yoga
The idea of giving back may have a different expression for each person, but the benefits are felt by all those involved in any act of giving. The Give Back Yoga Foundation believes in the power of giving back and in the transformational benefits of yoga and mindfulness — which is why the Boulder based national non-profit is leading the way in yoga service programs, trainings and resources to awaken, transform and give back. One of the underserved populations Give Back Yoga supports is veterans.