“I can’t touch my toes.”
“ It’s boring”
“My mind wont stop racing.“
“My doctor told me I should do it, to increase my balance and flexibility.”
These are some of the common things people tell me when they hear I teach yoga.
The first thing I want to clear up is that yoga means YOKE. to yoke/ unite our body, mind and spirit. So it actually does not have ANYTHING to do with touching your toes or quieting the mind. The physical practice of yoga poses were created in order to help us sit quietly in some form of meditation. The great new is that when thinking about stress management … we now have the brain science and evidence which PROVES stillness and pause in our daily lives changes our brain patterns, blood pressure, response to our others and create a sense of inner strength & well being.
Yoga & meditation are often linked b/c many practitioners USE the physical poses and linking breath to movement in order to create a “moving meditation”. Some folks use walking meditation where they become aware of the sounds around them, as a way to connect, notice and be “awake”. Experienced practitioners are able to sit quietly for long periods of time just noticing what arises in the body and in the mind. Some use mantras to focus the mind, some use candles – there are MANY ways to focus the mind.
Many of us have a “ monkey mind” and find ourselves chasing & clinging to thoughts all day long. This leads to fatigue, irritation, stress and dis- ease in the body. 90% of illness and disease are because of stress. It is of UTMOST importance that we consider how we are living and what our priorities are each day in order to achieve this balance in our inner world.
Being connected to our phones, computers, & being accessible at all times of day and night is overwhelming to our systems. We are meant to move our bodies a few times each day as well as pause for meals, connect with others and have some alone time. ANd REST. We deeply need REST. Many of us are overtired as well as undernourished. The foods we eat & what we drink are generally not contributing to our overall health or well being.
When I started practicing yoga I had no sense of how what I put in my body effected the different parts of my system and my moods. I did not have a sense of how foods were effecting my whole system. After a few classes I started noticing that I felt different if I ate certain foods before I went to class and then I only wanted certain things after. Slowly, the more I practiced the better I felt. I was then able to tune in to what poses helped me through a rough day, loosen up a tight lower back, or just give me a “yoga high”.
What does this have to do with You? EVERYTHING. Yoga allows us to connect to our inner life, our inner teacher, our true self. We are beautiful, creative and kind beings but with too much TV, PHONE and To- do lists, we loose site of this. Yoga helps with our well being and our stress management b/c teachers guide us towards our intuition and connects us to our life purpose.
Stress Effects Your Buisness and Your Life
You wake up to realize your alarm did not go off- you jump out of bed into a too hot shower, check your phone, call a client while dressing your kids, you don’t have breakfast instead you grab coffee. Kids are running late and can’t find what they need, You run from meeting to meeting until 2pm when you are starving so you grab a huge sandwich and fries to fill you up. You might as well have a soda to give you some caffeine to get through the rest of the day. And probably another coffee mid afternoon to get you to tonight. You get home and go for a quick run while your kids do homework. ( or not, you work instead) Dinner, work and then feeling bad that you didn’t get anything done that day. After your kids to get to bed , you work, scan facebook, read a magazine, and stay up too late. eventually, you fall into your own bed only to repeat this sequence the next day. You find yourself always coming up with excuses for why you don’t take care of your self , why you can’t eat right, exercise or sleep and WHY are you feeling so darn tired. You keep saying you don’t have time to goal set in fact you find yourself saying you dont have time for a lot of things..
You wake up 30 minutes before others in your house. you decide this morning you’d like to journal for your “me-time” today. yesterday you took a quick morning walk and the day before you started the day sitting quietly in meditation. some days you sit and have a cup of coffee – the most enjoyable few moments of your day. When your family arise you are prepares to greet them, you are centered and intentional with how you want today to go. You have noticed that a while back you were only giving yourself 15 minutes in the morning but now you love this time so much you have increased it to 30! You do not check email or look at your phone until your children are off to school. You take 2 -10 minute walk breaks throughout your day that are non negotiable to get your blood flowing- which always energizes you and a 20-30 minute lunch where you sit and enjoy your delicious food (and you don’t bring your phone! unless you have a phone date with a friend or spouse). You are able to complete the 3 most impt priorities for today and find that you even have a little time to spare so you sweep the house, and decide to make a healthy dinner for your family. Your kids go to bed after some family time, homework time and you choose to do a few stretches on your yoga mat or take the dog around the block. Before you go to bed you set your 3 targets for tomorrow and get into bed either reading something positive or thoughtful trying to stay away from anything over stimulating. You feel connected that your deepest priorities are in check and that those who are important to you- feel important to you. You may review your life goals and visions daily or weekly in order to make sure you are living your life the way you intend. You find that you actually have plenty of time for all the people, work and activities that you enjoy.