Self-Love with Yoga

For me, writing about yoga has felt like a weighted topic because yoga is more than a fitness routine. For many it is a way of life, a practice, a religion. So at the risk of offending someone by coercing them into this modern day hybrid of fitness dogma, I do really want to share with you my love for yoga.

Top Ten Things I LOVE About YOGA:

10. I bow down to myself in the mirror over and over again in a Vinyasa flow class. It is the ultimate self-love.

9. No matter what mood I am in heading into a yoga class, I am always 100% more calm and centered upon leaving.

8. Sanskrit, the ancient language of yoga, spoken from the yoga instructor to guide us through the poses, sounds like a flowing river off of her tongue. Shavasana is the sweetest sound, and there is always a shavasana. Always. If you don’t know what that is, you must learn.

7. I love my breath-Finding it, feeling it, exploring different body parts with it and feeling the three-dimensionality of my bodyl. Oxygen and Carbon dioxide exchange is happening on a cellular level constantly throughout my day. I know those cells are working hard to stay alive. When I focus my breath and direct it toward the place I am stretching, its like sending those cells to the spa for the day.

6. Yoga is a solo mission, but I’m suspended there, floating, within the energy of everyone else’s solo mission. I can feel the strength of my neighbors’ challenges and successes which inspires me in my own practice.

 5. Like in the eye of a storm, I find stillness within the chaos. Over and over and over again.

 4. In Seattle, we love us some yoga. There seems to be a studio on every block. Most of them offer new student specials. This makes it fun to explore different styles, teachers, and neighborhoods at an affordable rate.

 3. Yoga tones. Yoga strengthens. Yoga increases flexibility. Yoga balances.  Not just muscles, but all systems simultaneously.  I do it all by myself and there is no doctor prescription necessary.

 2. I love how yoga teaches me self love and acceptance through showcasing my physical limitations. The temptation to compare myself to my neighbor in the mirror is always  there, but I find that the more that I avoid this in the yoga studio, the easier it is in daily life.  This comparison game is raw and real for us all, and doesn’t stop with our neighbors, but may be even harder to avoid within ourselves. Injuries, weight gain, too much to drink the night before, a bad mood can all affect my yoga practice, but we always have to accept where we are in the present moment. We work with what we’ve got.  As one of my teachers says, Goals are different than expectations.

 1. Yoga is cathartic. When your body moves in synchronicity, the brain eats it up. I wrote most of this post in my head throughout a couple different yoga classes.  Getting over writer’s block in itself is a cathartic accomplishment.  It’s been one year since my last blog post! Phew, happy anniversary to me.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love,
Jen