These Resource Girls avoided yoga for years. Lauren was never big into working out and Cat wanted a “real” workout, not to sit in a circle and hum. Clearly, we were misinformed. Have you ever firmly believed something so strongly, only to find out you were completely wrong?
Discipline is defined as a branch of knowledge or the practice of training people. I find this interesting as a yoga “teacher,” for a few reasons. One is that that while I am a teacher, I am also only a student. And honestly, the only person I am ever really training is myself.
You roll out your yoga mat, take your seat, and begin your routine before class starts. A routine comprised of stretching, sitting or lying down to mentally prepare, or maybe enjoying some time to chat with your fellow yogis. All is as it should be, yet something seems off. You’re uninspired, going through the motions, not as aware of what you’re doing, feeling low in energy and even contemplating the need to take more breaks.
The other day I attended a new yoga class. Though I entered the studio with ten minutes to spare, the entire floor was covered with bodies. For a gentle yoga class? In my experience the gentle classes usually provide plenty of room to find a private space.
The very first yoga class I ever attended was Iyengar-based. This was some fifteen years ago, when I was totally into Tai Bo, Spin and Step Aerobics. Kind of an unusual transition, really. Truth be told, I hated it. I could hear the clock ticking, I did not sweat, and there was no music. It felt like such a waste of time to me. It took me a good month to go back. Honestly, it was like pulling teeth, but something kept me going back once a week.
Self love. It is the foundation of a happy life and yet, at times, is so hard to hold on to. So, what is self love? While some consider self love to be conceited, the Yamas and Niyamas of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras teach us that self love is a combination of ahimsa (non-violence) brahmacharya (non-excess), and santosha (contentment).
To be your most authentic self, you need to incorporate self-care into your daily life. Self-care anchors you in kindness and love, even amidst a whirlwind of stress or trauma. Dr. Kristen Lee Costa, a professor at Northeastern University and stress expert defines self-care as “being aware of a wide range of needs and deliberately taking action to support our own well-being.”
It’s the holiday season. A wonderful time of year that somehow gets stressful and chaotic with all of the things to do, events to host as well as attend, and relationships to celebrate through gifts and time spent together.
Maintaining balance and letting go of the stress of the season is a practice of its own. Fortunately, with a little mindfulness, planning, and compassion, you can embrace the season feeling more refreshed, grateful, and happy.
Whether you’re new to yoga or have been on the mat for years, there comes a time when you want to have your own yoga equipment. Instead of using the mats, blocks, and straps offered in your local class, you want to have some for your own home practice.
Every day I teach and practice is a new day. As I work in my heart and body simultaneously, I begin to see how interconnected the two are. My body informs my feelings, and my feelings inform my body.