Yoga has been a powerful force in my life for almost ten years now.
I began practicing yoga in 2009. It was right around the time when it started to become clear that using the term “adulting” was no longer a thing, because I was no longer an age that was close enough to childhood to refer to life in such a way. 🙂 I was an adult. And life was/is stressful.
Once I realized that many forms of coping with the stress of our modern life were simply band-aids, covering the difficulties, obscuring the pains, I came to believe that it was time to find methods that helped me face the realities of life on life’s terms; and, as the artist Future might say, take the @%$#-ing mask off.
It wasn’t actually a yoga practice that I was seeking, but rather a meditation practice. Meditation was encouraged by so many different sources as the practice that could bring some peace to my mind that I had to give it a try. I did. And I found it to be, well, maddening. Lol. Truly, it still is a challenge for me. Has anyone else tried to meditate, only to find yourself intensely focused on thinking about not thinking?
Here is my stream of consciousness as I started my meditation practice back in those days.
Okay, no thoughts. No thoughts. Not thinking. Wait, I’m thinking. I’m thinking of not thinking. That counts as thinking, right? Crap, now I’m thinking of how I can’t stop thinking of not thinking! Okay, breathe. No thoughts. Wait, I’m thinking of not having thoughts. @%$*!
I was thinking of not thinking. It became a self fulfilling prophecy for me. But, so as not to be deterred, I figured I’d give yoga a try. It seemed peaceful. But I wasn’t really sure if it would help.
OMG. It helped. It helped so much.
I believe that perhaps yoga was perfect for me, because, while it isn’t meditation, I find it to be very meditative—with one caveat—there is movement. And, when in a more advanced class, the movement can be quite challenging. That’s perfect for a jockboy like me. If you don’t know me, I’ll tell you, I am all about sports. I love to play. Always have. Always will. I moved to Colorado entirely for sports. That’s right. I moved across the country, left my family and friends and life behind and started anew to chase powder. I moved here to ski. Since then, I have embraced my inner jock, even more than I did in my youth, and have come to understand the importance that physical activity holds for me.
As I mentioned, more advanced yoga classes have some pretty challenging moves in them. What I was taught that helped me accomplish these maneuvers also truly helped my meditation practice, which the whole reason that I walked into a yoga practice in the first place. What was it? What did my yogi teach me that let me put my face closer to my foot than it had been in decades? Breath. Breath powers movement.
Breathe in, my leg goes up. Breath out, my knee goes to my nose. Breathe in, my leg goes high, breathe out, my knee goes to my elbow. Breathe in, I settle into crescent lunge. Breathe out, I extend forward, standing on one foot and balance like a toppling tree, for, you guessed it, toppling tree pose. The amazing thing is how I learned that when I use every bit of my breath, when I take my time and focus mainly on my breath powering my movement, the physical part of it becomes easy.
Yoga class became breathing class, and if I relied on anything else besides my breath, I wouldn’t be able to do these challenging poses. My muscles wouldn’t do it. My mind wouldn’t do it. Only my breath could take me to a point where I was standing on one foot, holding my other ankle behind me, kicking that foot into my hand with my other hand pointing straight in front of my as my body leveled horizontally with the Earth. I can make myself look strangely similar to a bow and arrow—but only if I use my breath.
In yoga, I learned the power of one breath, one movement. I have been able to take that meditative movement into my life, and it has made it much easier to lift the loads that life lays in front of me. I’m speaking of physical loads and the figurative loads. Yoga has absolutely made me physically stronger. It has also made me mentally and spiritually stronger.
And, that understanding of how breath powers movement, and a lot of practice in that realm has also finally made it (more) possible for me to sit and meditate. I don’t think I’m much better at it than I was when I first walked into a yoga class back in 2009, but, hey, I’m making progress.
Not only has yoga enriched my life in my inner being, it has brought many amazing people into my life. It literally and directly helped me start working with my business partner, Realtor® Lisa Rayburg. It actually happened when she met my son, who was in the office with me that day. He’s like his dad, a little show-off, and started showing Lisa his yoga poses. He’s three, so it’s especially cute. She and I got to talking, went to a few of the same yoga classes, and got to know each other better. As we both need support in order to practice real estate, I think it was obvious to us that we’d both benefit from working with someone of a similar mindset. So, we help each other, run problems by each other, mastermind together, advise one another, and use the other as a sounding board for ideas.
When we decided to partner on a client event, we both knew that yoga was the thing. We wanted to share the wonderful benefits that we have felt from our yoga practice with the people who are so important to us.
There will be no expectations of accomplishment in this event. It is not going to be some complicated flow with movements that you can’t do. You won’t feel out of place. No. It will be comfortable, easy, and should be able to answer some questions you may have about the benefits of a yoga practice in your life.
So, I hope you’ll join us for this event. I am truly excited about it, and if it brings anything positive into anyone’s life, I will consider it a grand success.
Please register through our Facebook page. Can’t wait to see you there. Namaste. 🙂Open Yoga Facebook Registration
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