Infectiously Happy

It’s More Than Stretching & Arm balances: My Yoga Life

namaste

When I was still a flight attendant I worked a week long trip with this kind, peaceful lady named Patti. She was old enough to be my mother but had never married or had children. She saw me struggling through the trip. I was tired, hungry, cold and broken. Financially and Spiritually. In the midst of doing a drink service on a trip from Chicago to DC, she asked me: “Have you ever done yoga?”… I said no and that wasnt completely true. I had done yoga at the Y once, but I felt awkward and out of place, I think I may have left early. I told Patti that it wasn’t really something I enjoyed or cared to try but Patti went on: “You know if you just took some time each day to listen to your own breath, listen to the thoughts in your mind and focus on what will ultimately make you happy, your life would change. That’s yoga, you know.” She walked away and honestly I held that conversation in the back of my mind for nearly 6 years.

Fast forward to the opening of Revolution EGO, Pineapple suggested that she, Mango and I take a class together from a new client, Stacy Winslow of Evolution Yoga NC. Again I was uninterested. I’m not sure why I didn’t want to go, but against my own will I said I would try it for a month and then find an excuse not to go. Have you ever heard the saying: “The thing you want to do the least is the thing you probably need to do the most”? Well now you have and for me the chance to give yoga a try connected me back to what Patti said all those years ago in an Airbus galley. I needed yoga. It strengthened me physically and mentally. It fortified my spirit and I use its teachings daily to navigate this thing called life. I have been practicing yoga now for only 3 years, and it has completely transformed my experience. Last year I decided I wanted to become a yoga teacher because I want others to be able to experience the focus, mental clarity and increased sense of peace that a regular practice has given me. I am constantly hearing some of the most “interesting” reasons for why a person wouldn’t “do yoga”…

1. I’m not a flexible person & I can’t do headstands. I say this daily, Yoga is more than poses and arm balances. For me, it is a way of life that is based on basic principles that any person could apply to their life. The poses are only extensions of the yogic philosophies. I love yoga so much because through modifications it is available to any body, even with disabilities, injuries and limitations. Each person can develop their own practice and the only requirement is the ability to breathe. Just like anything else the more you practice the more flexible you can become and don’t let the internet fool you, even if you never do a headstand, it doesn’t mean you are not a dedicated yogi.

2. It’s against my religion . I have a hard time understanding this point of view because yoga is about love, compassion, oneness, giving. What religion is opposite of that? I’ll wait…

3. I can’t quiet my mind for meditation . One of the first things I learned in yoga was that my mind can only process one thought at a time. Before yoga, I had a constant stream of thoughts running at an uncontrolled pace, leaving me to feel rushed, overwhelmed and unorganized. With the use of breathe work or pranayam I am able to “quiet” my mind by focusing on my breathing thus slowing down that stream of thought so I can focus on what is important, useful to my purpose and uplifting.

I am so grateful to my teacher because she made yoga accessible to me and I am excited to be able to do the same for someone else. The training period has been so fulfilling and helped me stay connected to who I was before Palmer came along,helping me navigate the transition into motherhood. I have met some amazing individuals and deepened my own practice through the study of philosophy and anatomy. I graduate in May, so stay tuned for my class offerings…

If you are interested in a phenomenal teacher training, Stacy has already posted the dates for the next session!

Namaste :-)

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