Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mind, body and soul

I have been a bad blogger, but a good yogi. To be honest, it's becoming more and more difficult for me to focus on the Internet and even TV. I am ten days away from completing the yoga challenge and my mind is much clearer. I cannot spend countless hours scrolling through twitter, reading events from strangers' days in 140 characters or less. Instead, I have been immersing myself in books, challenging my imagination and concentration. I am back on a healthy sleep schedule, something I have not allowed myself since before high school. Likewise, my body is stronger, slimmer and feels better than ever. I've learned to love and appreciate the feeling of sweat , something I used to dread when I played volleyball and hockey. I feel little parts of my body I never before knew existed. I am making progress, and I love it.
Not every day is easy. I still get frustrated in certain poses and lose my connection to my breath. I still get frustrated in certain situations and suffer from paralyzing anxiety. Some mornings I don't want to wake up for yoga, and sometimes I regret accepting the challenge. These are fleeting regrets, however. I am working extremely hard to find peace within myself, and at the end of the day I'm proud of what I'm doing and how far I've come already. I may be ten days away from the end of this challenge, but I'm far from the end of my yoga journey. In fact, I don't believe it will ever come to an end. There is another challenge starting two weeks after this one ends, and I intend on signing up. Afterwards, I am looking into yoga retreats and finally I hope to go to yoga teacher training so one day I can help change others for the better, as my teachers have helped guide me.
Yoga is an empowerment of the mind, body and soul. I'm just working my way there.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Happier Place

Today I completed day four of the yoga challenge. So far I have attended two advanced classes, a moderate class, and a beginner class (I brought my boyfriend and didn't want to scare him away from yoga). I can already feel differences in my body, my mind and my practice. My mind is a much more welcoming place. I'm seeing things more positively. In previous classes, I have struggled with savasana, the end of the class dedicated to meditation. Often my mind is racing and I spend the time thinking about what I'm doing after class. Savasana is an essential piece of the practice of yoga. By practicing everyday, I am having much deeper savasana experiences.
At class yesterday, my savasana took me back to the Sunday after St Patrick's day last march. It was a beautiful, sunny day and my family had a barbecue. It was also the last time many of us saw my sisters best friend, who took his own life a week later. Instead of this being a painful memory, I found myself remembering little details and being thankful that I was able to revisit this happy day. This day was in a lot of ways the last good day my family had. By fully committing to savasana, I was able to take myself away from my present body and enjoy a far-away experience. Today, similarly, I was able to enter savasana fully. I found myself in the rainforest, a place I have always wanted to go. After class I felt more awake, more alive, and more ready for the rest of my day.
Before I started the challenge, I was a night class kind of girl. I liked slowing my day down with yoga and sleeping peacefully after. However, now that I must fit in a class everyday, I've been going to morning classes. I'm finding it much more fulfilling, a divine way to begin my day. Challenging my body is one oft best depression-inhibitors. I find myself in the darkest places during times when I'm not moving my body. By waking up early for yoga I am re-regulating my sleep schedule, which had been pretty terrible, even for a college student. I've been taking more time to play with my dogs, to converse with my family, and to connect with others in the smallest ways. It's incredible how being friendly to a cashier at the coffee house can change their whole facial expression. I do believe that if more people did yoga the world would be a happier place.
I was afraid I would wear my body down too early in the challenge and give up. But the exact opposite is happening. I'm more energized and motivated. I look forward to trying a harder class each day. I'm already stronger and can feel my body becoming more and more tone each day. I will complete this challenge.

P.S. I tried an extra belly dancing class tonight. I'm definitely more of a yoga girl;)