Yoga Taught Me – Part Two

Ever since I got back from my recent trip to Hong Kong I’ve been feeling quite off; Let’s be honest I’ve been having a heaviness/stiffness over me for a while now. I feel like I’m stuck just going through the motions but even worse I’ve been an emotional wreck. When I’m not feeling the best I kind of always force myself to be active, so last night I decided at the last moment to go to a yin yoga class. A little backstory for about a year plus now I’ve been dealing with left hip pain and mobility issues. With that being said certain yoga poses are limited or downright painstaking. So I arrive at the class unroll my mat, settle in, and BAMM the instructors first pose is a hip opener. She literally went right in – no fourplay, no lube, no small talk to ease me into this moment of high discomfort. The thing with yin classes is that it is all about letting go and allowing gravity to pull you deeper into a pose, no resistance just complete surrender. So as my stiff body is trying to breathe through the pain, it hits me that this has been me in real life. I have such an underlining fear of being hurt and uncomfortable that I create resistance to the unknown, yet I wasn’t always this way. Somehow this limited range of (e)motion seems safer than flowing past my self created threshold of comfort. Encouraged by the instructor, in this class that I now see is all hip opening, I acknowledge the sensations and discomforts and I let go. I let go – first of the fear of being uncomfortable and then I let go of the idea that pain was restricting me. I was restricting myself. As I overcame my fear and stopped resisting discomfort I was delivered to a deeper less uncomfortable space. I could literally feel my hips gently opening up, tissue releasing itself. I began to cry. Tears for keeping myself bound up like this. Tears for all the fears and lies I told myself. But most importantly tears knowing that I am and can break down these emotional and physical barriers I placed on myself.

Mind, body, soul – a unit. When there is dis-ease in one they all suffer, yet when there is peace with one they all find peace. Currently working to find peace and freedom within my unit. May peace be with all of you. 🙂

The Why to My Active Lifestyle

People often ask me why I workout so much. Working out for me is much more than just a means for staying in shape. It is my nourishment, my therapy, my friend on days that are gray. It is an opportunity for me to be present; to forget about anything that happened before that moment or any future anxieties. It’s just me, my body, and my spirit pushing past prior limitations.

When I say that exercise is a form of therapy I mean that in every way. It helps me battle with feelings of loneliness, depression, and self-doubt. There is something extremely empowering for me when challenging my mind and body. Exercise gets me out of the bed in the morning, or late in the afternoon on days when self doubt tries to set in. It’s thirty minutes to an hour and half of me going toe to toe with my inner demons. All those feelings of I’m not worthy, I can’t be happy, I can’t be successful are obliterated. What I’m left with is an epic high and the desire to crush every single doubt in my mind.

Beyond the amazing confidence boost being active gives me, physical activity is just good old self-care. Time for me to love on body. To be one with my body. Some days I may be in need of a good sweat to detoxify, or stretching/yoga to loosen up tight joints and muscles, or weight training to help me with my posture and form. Setting aside this time for myself helps me feel more centered and focused. How amazing it is to do something good for myself that no one else can do for me.

Staying active makes me love and appreciate the person I see in the mirror everyday; not just for the physical aspect of it but more importantly for the spiritual and mental clarity and confidence I gain. I see worthiness, strength, beauty, love, and an unstoppable spirit. Like I mentioned this is my nourishment, the fuel I need for the betterment of my soul.

What motivates you to stay active?