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There are many ways to reset your body and mind and yoga is one of them. Yoga helps to relieve and loosen up tension in the body and it also helps to clear our heads. Yoga is forgiving and allows us to begin again every time we step on our mat, and this reset is important because by resetting the mind, we bring attention to the moment in front of us and we can choose how we show up.
Connection is a human need, one that gives us a sense of belonging and purpose. We all know how great it feels when we make a positive connection with someone or something. A yoga practice teaches us how to connect our breath, our bodies, and our minds, which can lead to even stronger connections with family, friends, environment, and ourselves. I know that when I am on my mat and I connect my breath and my body, I feel this unwavering sense of peace, clarity and balance.
Transitions are a natural and essential part of life. We transition - - move from one thing to the next - - from childhood to adulthood, from relationship to relationship, etc., and, in yoga, transitions are the moments between poses. In our physical practice, transitions require us to be present so that they can be mindful, graceful, intentional and done with control. We build strength and, oftentimes, heat during these transitions which can affect our life off the mat by bringing more confidence and mindfulness into our lives.
The expression “keep it simple” bears some weight. When we complicate things by overthinking or getting stuck in our heads then we create tension, stress and more work for ourselves. Life becomes harder and less fun. By keeping things simple, even your yoga practice, we leave more space for the good things to fill our minds and bodies. Think about this the next time you get on your mat. Let your mind go with the flow rather than thinking about what is going to happen next…keep it simple and allow yourself to have some fun!
Forgiveness is difficult for many of us and often times doesn’t come easy. When we forgive, it helps us learn to live in the present, not the past and can set us free of the victim mentality. Sure, there are many different circumstances where the idea of forgiving doesn’t align with our pain, but as the Buddha says, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” When we hold our anger we stunt our growth. In yoga, we learn how to shift our thoughts and to navigate life in an open, kind way. Learning to forgive grants us transformation, which in turn, allows us freedom to experience the world in a present, thoughtful way.
When it comes to letting ourselves feel, the busyness of everyday life keeps us subconsciously “on-guard” and distracted from what may be happening with us physically, mentally and emotionally. The yoga mat is a place to connect with yourself, a place learn how to become present and aware of the sensations happening within the body and the mind. When you’re on your mat, you have the opportunity to tune into the physical sensations, such as the stretch, strength and alignment of the body, as well as the breath, thoughts and emotions that pop up. When you let yourself feel, you cultivate mindfulness, self-awareness and a sense of inner balance and harmony.
In yoga, when we are given the cue to hug-in, gently squeeze into the midline of our bodies and bring our awareness inward, we create strength and a connection with ourselves. On a holistic note, hugging yourself on the mat is a way of nurturing your inner being. It’s a gesture, and a powerful one, that allows us to connect with our own bodies, minds and spirits. Wrapping yourself up in a hug sends a message of love and compassion reminding us that we are worthy, deserving, and enough just as we are. The next time you’re on your mat, give yourself a hug and embrace the energy flowing through you. By hugging yourself, you’re creating a safe space to explore, grow and truly connect with yourself and that, in itself, is powerful and positive!
Being light in yoga goes beyond just the physical aspect of the practice. It's about cultivating a positive mindset and radiating that energy both on and off the mat. When you’re on the mat, being light can mean moving with a certain amount of grace and ease, and flowing through poses effortlessly. It’s about finding balance, both physically and mentally, and letting go of any expectations or judgments you might have about yourself.