For my week of thanksgiving blogs I would be remiss if I did not mention yoga and its effects in my life for the last couple years.
I started yoga half-accidently a little over 2 years ago. A friend of mine happened to mention that she had started attending a class of spa yoga in a local studio and that she had immediately fallen in love with the peace it gave her. I was in desperate need of peace. Between the madness that always permeates my family life and the pressure at work, I was at the end of my rope.
At that time the young woman who taught the yoga classes was someone who had been gifted with a voice that was like medicine for strained nerves. I swear, listening to her while holding a tree pose or doing your sun salutations was the non-drug equivalent of taking a muscle relaxant. I faithfully attended yoga several times a week throughout that summer. When winter came the studio proved to be too far and in the wrong direction from my house to be practical for me. My yoga instructor left the studio and I stopped going, as well.
I missed it. I just loved the feeling of inner peace and the way my bones and my muscles just seemed to lose years of rust and old age after a session. Imagine my joy when I found out that a brand new studio had opened just down the road from me.
I then came back to the wonderful world of silence and stillness. If you have never tried yoga I strongly suggest you give it a try. It’s hard to explain how you feel. It’s a rare chance of emptying your overloaded brains, of shutting the world out and just focusing on the basic life-giving act of breathing. I suffer from Reactive Airway Disease (a term used by doctors when they cannot quite diagnose a breathing disorder) which, in my case it means I cough all the time (okay, maybe not all the time, but about 95% of the time). It is triggered by allergies, strong smells, changes in temperature, you name it. But most of all it is triggered by stress.
No, I am not about to tell you that yoga has cured me. However, when I am in yoga my lungs forget I have a breathing disorder and I breathe normally and never cough. I am at peace, so my lungs are happy.
If the stillness and peace are not enough of an attractor for you to give it a try, think of this: yoga is by far the one physical (and mental) exercise with the quirkiest and coolest names for positions. Where else would you be doing a tree right after a chair? Or an eagle followed by a warrior one? Can you walk the dog or do a crow in circuit training or jogging? I didn’t think so…
So it is with a grateful heart (body and mind) that I come to honor yoga, the art for stillness, and my wonderful instructor, the beautiful Aliya who have both changed my life and offer me some of the peace I so desperately crave in my life. Thank you, thank you…