In this BLOG:
Article: Do Your Practice, Do Your Practice, Do Your Practice
Walking Yoga Article published in Oregon Healthy Living!
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Do Your Practice, Do Your Practice, Do Your Practice
“Doing” our yoga practice can look very different depending on who you are, what your definition of yoga is, and what your practice needs to be. For me, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, living on a sailboat has been my biggest real life yoga practice. I also need the on the mat, sun salute and warrior 1 practice to balance me out!
For those of you non yoga practitioners, listen to why I do yoga. Hopefully, my reasoning will give you some inspiration as to why to check it out. And, for those of you that already practice, this is a reminder to keep practicing, keep practicing, keep practicing.
My on the mat yoga practice has varied greatly in the last few years. While living and teaching yoga in L.A, it was a built in part of my daily life. While living in CO, getting on my mat became more challenging. Why? Because we were building our own house and the reality that there were ALWAYS other things that needed to be done. I found it challenging to get on my mat when there was drywall to be hung, bricks to lay and firewood to go get. Life was different than the west side of L.A! After Colorado, living on a sailboat full time, there are still things that always need tending to. Such is life wherever you live though, right? In my case, the little voice that says I need to do the weather log, clean one of dozens of things on the boat that always needs cleaning, get water, fill the gas generators, etc, speaks loud and clear! Wether you live in a apartment in west L.A, a house at 9,000 feet in the CO rockies or on a sailboat, there will always be distractions as to why not to get on your mat and do your practice. Honestly, I’ve been battling with this lately. I admit it. Its been hard to get up earlier, get out on the deck, lay my mat down and practice first thing. But, lately, I didn’t just get up a few morning a week, but every morning. And, because of this, my life is different. Different in the best possible way. More to come about this after the next paragraph……..
I have a friend, fellow yoga teacher and studio owner that I’d like to mention here. She will remain anonymous since I’m not sure she would want me quoting her. The simple story is this….I came to teach at her studio for the first time for a weekend of workshops. My flight got in a day early so I had some time and could take her class. It was my first time taking her class, and it was before getting to know her for more than a few short conversations. During her class, she brought up the topic of “why practice consistently?” She said, I practice because “if I don’t do enough yoga, I’m a real bitch”. I was a bit surprised because I’m the type of person that would like to say things like that more often but am too shy to do so! I admired that she could. The bigger point though, was that she was honest about a direct effect of her practice. When newer students ask me the benefits of yoga, I find it a hard question to answer because there are SO many great benefits. One being, if you tend to be a crabby, bitchy person, yoga can do wonders! People don’t realize it now upon meeting me, but when I was in my first couple of years of practicing, I gave off a real bad, angry vibe in the yoga room. It was not love at first downward facing dog for me. In fact, it was the opposite. My teachers tease me about it now, but they’ve said things to the effect of, “when you first starting practicing, we didn’t want to come near you with a ten foot pole!” I believe it. I wasn’t a happy person at the time, and that showed in the yoga room. The more I practiced, breath by breath and pose by pose, I started to change. I didn’t realize it right away, but I was changing. One of the reasons why I believe so strongly in this practice is the fact that wether you want it to change your life for the better or not, it will! Breath by breath and pose by pose, we change inside. Its amazing.
Anyway, so lately, as I dragged myself out of bed earlier than my natural clock said to, awoke with the sun and got on my mat to start breathing, my perspective has shifted and I feel more on track than I have in a long, long time. How have I felt different? Let me share the few things that I’ve noticed:
I’m more calm and have less anxiety
My back feels better
My confidence and self esteem is up
I’m more focused and my memory is better (Tobin sometimes teases me and calls me “short term”!)
I’m more positive and much less fearful of the future (I tend to get ahead of myself)
I feel more balanced in my body, both in strength and flexibility
Now, I know that all of these things are benefits of yoga, but It still amazes me, after practicing for over 15 years, that I can still get off track in my routine and be awed by the benefits of this practice once I’m more consistent in a short amount of time. Its quite inspiring.
So, this has been my lesson lately: do my practice, do my practice, do my practice. For me, said simply, without it I’m not my best self, and I’m not the person I want to be.
Walking Yoga Article published in Oregon Healthy Living – here is the link!
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