Yoga is growth. Yoga is love. Love for ourselves, love for one another.
Yoga isn’t about making every situation light, bright, or carefree— but rather, bringing the light of our perception, and the fortitude of our spirit, into the dark places. It is about acknowledging our strength, and encouraging the beauty of our grace.
Yoga is observing, accepting, and embracing the struggle— the highs, the lows, the scars, the scratches, the chaos, the stillness; the poetic vignettes of our cosmic fairytale...
Yoga is recognizing that your spark of magic is worthwhile. That your glowing ember deserves to be loved, supported, and nourished— By you. Your tribe. Your community.
Yoga is surrounding yourself with those who fan your flame— encouraging you to grow, to reach, to stretch.
Yoga is love.
Love is why I yoga.
There was a time not too many moons ago that I would have looked at the aforementioned vignette and scoffed— "well that all sounds nice, but it's JUST stretching".
Contextually, at that point in time I had tried a few yoga classes, and felt like they were a "waste" of my time when I could be doing a "real" workout... You know— running, CrossFit, conquering 14'ers...
As you may have guessed, I tend to be a “Type A” personality by nature— Often finding myself over-committing, and attempting to tackle an ever-elongating checklist of things to accomplish. While I feel very proud of all that I achieve in any given day, there is validity to the statement that there can be “too much of a good thing”, and I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge the fact that pretending to be “Superwoman” didn't result in excess stress.
As I am sure many caregivers can relate to, we do an excellent job looking after others— but don’t always excel at taking care of ourselves. Although I frequently encourage others to relax, to take time for themselves— I often struggle with applying my own advice in this arena. Personally, I have found that I am able to meet the “checkbox criteria” of health (I eat well, I exercise, I go to the doctor, I clean with natural products), but I don’t always take the time to focus on my emotional needs— to breathe, to meditate, to center...
I have SLOWLY come to realize that health is an all-encompassing harmonious balance between spirit, mind, and body. IT IS NOT A CHECKLIST. It is an ever-evolving entity that touches every aspect of our lives. It is our relationships, our jobs, our friendships, our workout routines, our diet, our body composition, our genes, our religion, our physical habitats, our hobbies, our sleep habits, our stress levels, our relaxation techniques, our experiences, our attitudes, and ultimately our outlook on life.
So a few years later, steadied with a new mindset, fantastic yoga instructors, and the support of the “peanut butter to my apples” (my amazing husband), I have been catapulted into the "yogi" lifestyle— a life that is free of the "guilt" or "shame" associated with self-care, or self-love.
It is pretty incredible how a few deep breaths can center your thoughts, calm your body, and bring focus to your entire life.
It has transformed me into the woman I am today.