As a yogi/yoga teacher, I am well aware of the benefits of yoga practice and the postures, breathing techniques, and meditation — and that one’s yoga practice is so much more than just the physical body moving in interesting ways on a mat (though that’s lots of fun, too). In a way, all of these segments of yoga have become a part of me since I first began practicing back in high school, and then it all deepened when I got my teaching certification in 2019.
Funny enough, as the years go on, my yoga practice has pushed beyond the poses. It has become more of the spiritual/mindfulness realm. For me, that’s where I really reap the benefits of my practice. It is where I find the little ah-ha moments to take into my life outside of the studio space.
Here are just a few things I have learned that I have taken off the mat:
To remain present in any given moment is truly everything. It’s all we have. To live in the now, and to soak in exactly what is (good, bad, hard, uncomfortable, joyful, hilarious), is when you realize just how truly alive you are. Are you just living… or are you alive and awake to your own life?
The way I care for myself in a yoga class is exactly how I’d like to ideally show up for myself in everyday life. Gentle, caring, intentional, compassionate, and in tune with my every want and need. When I pour into myself through yoga it overflows into my life as a mother, employee, friend, and daughter. I have more to give when I give to myself first.
When things get stressful or busy (and they sure as heck do, as a working mama of two toddlers), I stop and remind myself to breathe. Seems pretty obvious, right? But do you know the real power behind your breath? How you can deliberately tap into what you need and what your body is saying just by listening more deeply to it? There are so many yoga-based breathing techniques I’ve taken off the mat like ujjayi, lion’s, and alternate nostril. Just knowing I have those tools to go to when I need them is already enough to calm my nervous system.
One of my favorite parts of any yoga class is the intentions/themes/mantras. Typically at the start of class, teachers will share these as a source of inspiration. I often take these meaningful words and phrases into my world. I find myself coming back to them long after the class has ended and finding the significance of them in my life. Some that come to mind from past classes are “You’re exactly where you need to be”, “The answer is already within you”, and “Peace starts within”.
Are you interested in exploring yoga with me — and all of its gifts? I am teaching a Moms Yoga class in Holden. A 6-Week Series on Wednesday evenings from 5:30-6:30 pm. Sign up here, and I’ll see you at the first class on May 17!
I cannot wait to share my love for yoga with you and see what you take off the mat!