Here are the thoughts I’ve been sharing in this week’s yoga classes:
This weekend I have been reminiscing about what it was that got me to fall in love with yoga. I first attempted it back in Wisconsin, approaching it with the weight-loss mindset of getting a good workout and sweating my booty off to blast calories (I was trying Bikram yoga in 105+ degree humid room). As I lay there flat on my back on a yoga mat after one of my first yoga classes, I became aware of some pretty crazy sensations in my body. Every single fiber of my being was used up, spent, alive, invigorated, and worked. Muscles were used I didn’t even know I had. I could actually feel my blood pumping around inside me, through fingertips, toes, and hips. There was also this dichotomous sensation of tranquility and calm. My shoulders and neck were relaxed. I felt very gentle and peaceful, like a weighted blanket was put on me. The COMBINATION of invigoration and tranquility is what made me fall in love with yoga.
“You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state.” -Sharon Gannon
I love this quote because it speaks volumes to me. We aren’t designed to be chaotic, stressed out beings (pretty poignant to me after my first yoga class back last night after a stressful moving weekend!). We aren’t meant to have tightness, fear, doubt, constriction, resistance, etc. On our yoga mats, we learn to let go of tightness, to work it out of our system. We also learn to be alive in every inch of ourselves, the flow of life inside us. We play in new courageous poses, work muscles we didn’t know we had, and find an inner strength as we recognize what’s inside of us. Yoga is us recognizing the COMBINATION of our strength and calm.
How unstoppable in life would we be if at any given moment we understood the limitless strength inside of us and the blanket of calm we can exude?! It gives me goosebumps as I think of this, of how each of us would follow our dreams, look big picture in life, be confident and undeterred by life’s hiccups. Strength and calm are not opposites, one or the other. Strong and peaceful are who we are. Recognize it as your natural state. See what happens.