I have been doing yoga for about seven years now, but not consistently. Last summer I finally realized how beneficial yoga can be for me and for others. I had thought about teaching and so I did some research and decided to get my YogaFit Level 1 Certification.
I have had a couple different periods of growth in Yoga. When I first started Yoga it was strictly for exercise, to lose weight and get into shape. I liked it, but didn't understand what it was really about.
I wasn't consistent, but kept going back over the years.
Then my husband and I began to travel alot in the winter. Particularly last year, I found that I spent so much time "getting in shape" for the trip that I didn't want to be on a roller coaster constantly of lose weight, gain weight on trip, come home, lose weight. I also didn't want want to deprive myself of the great food on the resorts. I decided if I worked out a few times at least I could go home without having to start all over.
So I went to the gym at the resort, found some Yoga classes and enjoyed walking and running on the beach. When I came home and went back to the Y and the yoga studio, I had imprinted the memories of my Yoga class or my cardio workouts at the resort. I found that when I walked into the gym back home, it gave me the sensation of being on vacation again. The sights and smells and sounds of the gym or studio came flooding back. It made me realize that the time you allow yourself to have to exercise, that you deserve, is like your mini-vacation and I became hooked.
On one trip, I couldn't find a Yoga class on the resort so I decided to make up my own. Why not? I walked down the beach a little ways and found a pier. I walked out to the end of the pier and I immediately felt so peaceful and relaxed because of the ocean waves and sun, and decided that I had been doing Yoga long enough that I could do a few sun salutations, some warrior poses and get a little bit of a stretch. I decided I didn't care what people thought either. I left my ego back on the beach.
|This is my yoga pier. It was a little windy the day Marty took the pic.|
Now, whenever I am in Yoga class and coming to a hard balancing pose or deep stretch, I visualize myself on that pier, doing that pose. I hear the sound of the ocean lapping up against the posts of the pier and feel the sensation of the sea air and smell the smells of the beach and ocean. It really takes me back there. That is why we travel to have those kinds of experiences and bring them back.
I also reached a turning point last summer when I was dealing with some stress in my life. I was having trouble stopping the negative tapes and arguments in my head and I learned that Yoga is not just exercise. It helps us relax our minds and put negative thoughts where they belong. The negative thoughts affect our health and well-being and don't allow us to be all we can be as a wife, Mom, whatever we want to be. We can replace them with positive thoughts of our blessings, opportunities, good health, and healing.
I am now committed to Yoga several times per week and I look forward to it immensely. It is enjoyable, relaxing and empowering. You learn something new each practice about what you can do to increase your physical, spiritual and emotional health.
If you have not tried Yoga, I encourage you to find a class at your gym or a local studio. I am offering a free class at Hourglass Fitness and Wellness in Wellsville, KS for the month of Oct. & Nov. at 7 p.m. on Thursday. We have a great time and we have some space left so please join us.
Now, go out onto your pier, gaze into the magnificent ocean and the power of the waves and imagine all the creatures that God made. Breathe deeply, close your eyes, relax. Namaste.