Sit down. Cross your legs. Close your eyes. Breathe. That’s how most yoga classes begin – a sudden silence that’s comfortable and unfamiliar. Silence is something we, as a society, are not used to. It’s hard to find peace and quiet throughout the day, even if it’s in your own head. “I have to do this in an hour, should have done that yesterday, in 3 years I’ll have to go there, and I can’t remember what I’m doing right now.” Does this sound familiar? It does to me. My mind goes a mile-a-minute from the second I wake up until the sun goes down. That’s why I choose yoga.
I crave the silence, the warmth, and the relaxation. I choose to let go of what does not serve me and embrace what does. I listen to the music and reflect on myself while flowing through the poses. In doing this, I feel the physical stress, that my mind put on my body, slowly melt away. I’m back to me again, stronger than ever. That’s why I choose yoga.
Something magical happens during Shavasana (corpse pose) at the end of class. Everyone lies on their backs, palms fall open, eyes closed, just breathing and leaving the outside world at the door. This is the time where I feel like I have “recharged my batteries.” It’s a chance to thank myself for coming to class and thank my body for its ability to do what it can do.
Since I started practicing yoga, I was amazed to see the effect it has had on my heart and my mind. I used to think yoga was all about how you look, and I couldn’t have been further from the truth. Yoga is just as much about the mind, if not more, than it is about the body. The poses strengthen the body, the mind and the soul. This is how I find my internal balance. It is my small reminder to put things into perspective, focus on what’s important to me, and get rid of everything else. Simply put, it reminds me to love more, stay humble, and be grateful. Love everything and everyone more than you did yesterday, and more than you do today. If you love more, you will stress less. Only good things can come from loving intentions.
I encourage anyone who has never tried yoga before to go to a class, or try one online! (Erin Motz “Bad Yogi” is a great online instructor – especially for beginners.) I encourage those who may have strayed from their mat to get back on. Don’t let this crazy world take your time away. Do this for you. Sit down. Cross your legs. Close your eyes. Breathe.
“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” – Buddha