A few years ago, when I worked for a certain company doing a certain job, I found a lot of free time to read books, surf the 'net for interesting facts, and write my thoughts (sweet deal, huh?)! Don't worry, my company let me take advantage of them because they consistently didn't take enough advantage of me and my talents, which is part of the reason I quit just before I got married (that and the fact that we moved to West Jordan).
Anyway, so I would write on random subjects several times a week with some vague idea that maybe I'd bind all of my writings together into a book someday (but really it was just fun for me and helped pass the time of boring days). This is one of my "entries" about yoga that I now find quite amusing because I can officially call myself a yoga instructor. Oh how happy I am that I found yoga just over five years ago! :)
My mom brought this very notepad back from Alaska for me. I love it and now it's especially appropriate since I married a bear!
September 9, 2005
I Love Yoga
There’s not much to write when there’s not much drama going on in one’s life. But don’t get me wrong, I’m embracing my dull moments, because I like living a sane life. I like when life is under control—when there’s stuff to do, but not too much. It all seems very manageable.
Of course, life is always great when there’s yoga. I know it sounds silly. When most people think of yoga, images of certain kinds of people, sitting in meditating poses, chanting strange Sanskrit mantras usually pop up. But that’s not really what I do at all.
I participate in a class that not only builds strength and flexibility, but it also helps me to understand my inner self, physically and mentally. It is healing and fulfilling for me in ways that just normal “working out,” running, or playing sports can’t be. I need a balance of all things, but I tell you, my soul literally craves yoga. It’s like a drug.
But don’t worry; I’m not obsessive about it—although I think I do want to teach it someday—I’ve just discovered something in yoga that is perfect for me. If I could transfer the feelings I have after a practice onto everyone, we’d all love each other so much more. I’m serious.
If you’re not in the least bit convinced, consider this: At the end of each class, we lie on our backs in a dark room for about ten minutes. In this pose, called savasana, our bodies completely relax and our minds become calm as we learn how to let go of tensions and fast-paced thoughts. Some people do fall asleep, but for me this has truly become a healing space. My body thanks me for taking the time to relax after I’ve worked and stretched my muscles to their limits. And as I truly learn how to “be still,” my mind is filled with peace. I feel as though nothing in my life is unmanageable, because the Divine is never far from me.
I’ve worked though a lot of emotions since I began practicing yoga. It has helped me so much by providing the balance and stability I’ve needed during stressful times.
The physical benefits are very real too. I promise you that your aches and pains will flee with regular yoga practice. We work everything from wrists and arches, to hamstrings, hips, and triceps. It’s a whole body workout that emphasizes lengthening, strengthening, stretching, and opening. The most important aspect of yoga is letting go of our competitive egos and learning how not to judge ourselves or others. Once you begin practicing yoga, you will never want to stop because of the way it will make you feel.
And that’s really the bottom line. Yoga has everything to do with feelings. We are encouraged to listen to our bodies and our individual needs. As we increase awareness inside of ourselves, we are then more capable of increasing awareness outside of ourselves. I think that’s the ultimate goal: to take care of yourself, so that you can offer your best self to others. Or, at least, that’s mine.