This is a re-post for those of you who are interested in exploring yoga for your health and wellbeing.
Thanks to Nancy over at Spirit Lights the Way for sparking some yoga inspiration!
I take a therapeutic approach to my Yoga teaching; focusing on body awareness, mindfulness and the breath. To me its more than a physical work out.
I love this quote from Georg Feuerstein taken from Yoga Gems:
“Beginners on the yogic path would do well to understand correctly what Yoga is all about and to then approach it accordingly.
There is a humorous saying in Yoga circles that Yoga has been reduced to the practice of postures, and that postures have been reduced to stretching, and that stretching has been reduced to lengthening the hamstrings. Authentic Yoga is always a spiritual discipline, even when the focus is on the body, as it is in Hatha Yoga.”
The intention of Yoga is the quieten the mind and connect with our inner spirit, consciousness or higher power. Read more about it on my Yoga page.
In his book “Yoga as Medicine” Dr Timothy McCall shares 40 ways that Yoga (Poses, Breathing and Meditation) heals:
This list still wows me!
If you are young – there is every reason in the world to start now. Do it!
If you are in Mid life – it isn’t too late. I started yoga in my 40’s and it changed my life. This is where I find my middle ground every day.
Find a studio and a teacher that you can relate to and feel supported by. A word of caution here. Not every Yoga offered in classes is the same. Unless you are an athlete, avoid Vinyasa or Power Yoga.
Even if you are elderly and have a number of health and physical issues, finding an experienced trained teacher with a therapeutic approach can lead to a more active and healthy life… and a sense of peace and wellbeing.
So many people try Yoga in gyms these days. Please be careful as the focus is usually on having a physical workout. In my experience the instructors may not be as experienced, there is less personal attention and less time for relaxation and mindfulness.
For me, Yoga is about balance, alignment and inner peace. Finding balance and peace in our lives and alignment of our mind body and spirit… on and off the mat.
We are experiencing a heatwave here in eastern Pennsylvania, with temperatures hitting 100 degrees F (36 Celsius), and humidity sapping the energy out of every living thing.
This weather makes me sweaty and irritable. My tolerance level is very low and I get easily agitated by other grumpy folks!
I have spent lots of time indoors, grateful for the cool air conditioned breeze and cold drinks.
Yesterday I had an ice cream and it made me feel better for a short time…. until the lactose intolerance kicked in.
Today, I have found a different approach…. Humor/humour and a big dose of cold water.
It’s time to lighten up and not take things so seriously. Be careful out there as you cool off!
Enjoy this re-post and reminder to breathe more deeply to stay balanced and reduce stress in life
“Yoga is about changing our habits”. ~Rodney Yee
One of the habits that shows up for everyone as they begin their yoga practice, is how we shorten and even hold the breath when sensation increases.
Holding our breath is a defense mechanism of the human body. It prepares us to react to a threat. However, it increases the tension and stress in the body, rather than bringing it to a state of balance.
In yoga we learn to deepen the breath when sensation increases. We breathe through tension and discomfort and allow the energy to keep flowing, rather than getting stuck.
What a great lesson to bring to our lives!
Yoga increases sensitivity and awareness. It will reveal where the body is tight, where mobility is limited and where energy is blocked.
In yoga we learn to breathe, feel, and where possible let go. Ultimately this helps us make more skillful, conscious choices and allows us to create greater fulfillment in life.
And it all starts with the breath.
Inhalations bring in new energy and help us feel. Exhalations release negative energy and help us relax.
Breath deeply as you move through the highs and lows of life, and make the ride easier.
We live in a self absorbed society where everything seems to be directed to feeding the insatiable and bored little “me”.
When we start finding our Middle Ground, we get in touch with our inner being and experience what is happening in the moment. This inner world includes our thoughts, beliefs, needs, feelings and knowing what really matters to us – our values.
We become observers of ourselves.
We come nurturers of our inner being instead of critics.
Life becomes more satisfying just as it is. There is less need for stimulation, excitement and acquiring of things to prove to ourselves, entertain us, show others, or to keep boredom at bay.
This shift can happen in a moment or over a space of time … and is available to all of us.
Through yoga, I learned that this feeling of centered contentment was when my mind, body and spirit are aligned and in harmony.
I call this place of inner alignment the Middle Ground.
Thank you for joining me here 💛
“Yoga is not a work-out, it is a work-in. It guides me into the present, opens my heart and brings me home.”
While I was away in Scotland with friends, family and wedding celebrations, it felt like home.
The rocks and earth, air and breeze, salt and sea, trees and flowers, lochs and rivers…. all fill me with deep joy and contentment. I didn’t do my regular yoga practice, but spent time being present to what was unfolding around me and within me.
Enjoy these moments with me.
Greetings from Scotland! We are traveling back on the ferry to the mainland from a lovely weekend on Islay. I won’t be posting while I am in Scotland, but hope to keep in touch when I have WiFi and feet up time.
Salty breeze and seas
Clouds, rain and sunny moments
This is my home ground
It is my Center.
Luckily I haven’t had to go to many commercial garden centers, as everything seems to know how to magically fill in the space it has and how to express itself.
Such joy to nurture this and share 💛