Monday, November 21, 2016

Why Yoga?

Why yoga? Some might say it's the type of thing only tree-hugging, vegan, hipster types do. Others might say it's only for the really fit and flexible. It's even possible some may think yoga is a spiritual practice that conflicts with religion. I want to tell you it could be all of these things but for me it's not.

Yoga for me creates the space where I can accept myself for everything I am. The mistakes. The good times. The bad times. The fit times. The fat times. The smart decisions. The learning opportunities. Everything.

After I had my first baby, Russell, I didn't realize it but I was surrounded by the cloud of postpartum depression. I told myself I was just tired, sleep deprived, and that things would be fine. I had a job. I was making things work. I felt like eventually things would get better. I went so long that I never realized something was wrong until I rediscovered yoga and found things could feel different.

The funny thing is growing up I was always the happy one. The positive one. Quick to offer the silver lining in any situation. I could always see the good in things.

This is one of my favorite yoga poses. The photo is from my calendar by http://www.yogadogz.com/.
I rediscovered yoga when a dear friend of mine who I hadn't seen in years told me she was working on her yoga teacher training and needed people to practice yoga with her and fill out an evaluation. I figured I liked her enough that I'd get out and give it a shot. I have loved yoga since middle school and figured if it helped her and I got a workout in it would be great.

What happened after I started practicing with her was that I'd go home feeling amazing. I'd felt like I used to before I had a baby and plunged into the dark hole that was postpartum depression. After a number of weeks sometimes going alone and other times bringing friends I realized I really hadn't been doing well and needed to continue my practice so I could avoid slipping back into depression.

If you've followed my blog for a while, or if you go back into the archives, you'll know that I was blessed to have a significant contribution from my aunt that made it possible for me to pay for yoga teacher training for myself. I knew I'd love it because I love to learn. What I didn't know was that I would end up pregnant with our second baby, Kira, and that it would change the course of my ambitions.

As I mentioned in my post, A New Story, my interests with yoga have changed. I thought I wanted to just teach regular classes and eventually make enough money to quit and teach yoga full time. What I really want to do is continue to learn more about the brain and the body and use yoga to help people who are managing illness, injury, or mental health issues.

For those that are dog people, I love this pose too. Photo from my calendar by http://www.yogadogz.com/
For me, yoga is something I want to make a permanent part of my lifestyle. For the last 60 days I have been meditating using the Calm app (you can also practice online if you don't have a smartphone). Mostly just 5-10 minutes at night but I've committed to making sure I meditate before I go to bed. At first it was hard but as the days have gone on I have come to enjoy that time. It's my space to reflect on the day, relax, and tune-in to what my body and mind need.

Between now and the end of the year you'll be able to follow my thoughts about yoga, my yoga teacher training journey, and hopefully you'll learn some useful information that you can integrate into your life and yoga practice. Don't worry, most of the posts won't be this long so if you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me.

Do you practice yoga? Have you ever tried meditation? If so, do you have a favorite type of practice? I personally enjoy kundalini style and restorative yoga as well as guided meditation. Share with me your favorite types of practice! I love to learn more about what's out there and what other people enjoy.

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