I know that’s a huge statement to make and I don’t mean it in a cliché, hippie sort of way. I mean literally and figuratively, yoga saved my life. I am a very anxious person. Although I might not present as someone who is always anxious, there’s always a consistent ball of anxiety sitting in my chest. My mind is constantly racing and sometimes I can’t keep up with myself. I talk fast, I move faster and so I’m always talking, moving, and thinking fast. I’m also easily distracted within all of that. So basically I’m a big mess in my head and I’m always all over the place. I needed to still my mind so that I could focus and be more present, not just for me, but for my husband, daughter, family, and friends.
So I started doing yoga. When I first started doing yoga, I was only focused on the body movement, trying to impress the instructor with my ability to remain at ease in balance poses like Tree or pushing my strength to the limit with a fierce Goddess pose. My first time trying yoga I was all in my head and not really in my body at all. I missed the understanding of the purpose of yoga the first time around. The good thing about it is that although I didn’t fully grasp an understanding of yoga, it didn’t waiver my love. There was something still tugging at my heart strings, pulling me towards the practice.
I applied for a 200-hour yoga teaching training to deepen my practice and to be able to share yoga with my daughter. I wanted to be able to practice yoga with my daughter and invite other moms to join in. I underestimated the amount of energy that it takes to be present. It work, hard work. Becoming a mom was a hard lesson on that front. After going through the training, my perspective on the practice of yoga has changed immensely. It’s no longer about me, my daughter, or other moms. I want to share yoga with everyone. I love that it helps me to be more present in my body, forgetting the thoughts that come rushing through like a stolen freight train. I find stillness in yoga. I am able to breathe through the poses, no longer worried about impressing the instructor. Instead of focusing on my body, healing it from the inside so that I can strength it on the outside, knowing that as a direct result mind will be healed and strengthened too.
Yoga literally translates to “union.” I believe this means to be in union with oneself and God. I’m not saying that yoga is the only way to be in union with God. There are several ways that I commune with God outside of yoga, like church, nature, and meditation. I commune with God during anything thing that requires my full presence. Yoga is just one of the ways that has helped me to be more present, to be still, to remember my breathe, to be grounded, and to remember that life is a cycle of learning and unlearning. I’m making a conscious effort to be aware of this life cycle and to keep practicing, letting go of any rigidity and anxiety, and remaining consistent in my practice. I’m not going to strengthen any of my muscles, mentally, physically, or spiritually, without practice. If you haven’t taken a yoga class, I encourage you to try it, you’ll be challenged, perhaps pushed to your limits, but your body and mind will thank you for.
Originally published at www.sharonelise.com