As we wind down Stress Awareness Month, I took the opportunity today to step away from my computer during lunch and reflect. I reflected on my practice during the month of April, what yoga truly means to me and why I can’t imagine my life without it. Then I jotted down my own personal acronym for the word Y.O.G.A.
Youthfulness – There’s something extra-special about the hour or hour and a half of “playtime” on the mat that is just so appealing to me. Where else in life do you have the opportunity to balance on your head, fall down and laugh about it? And better yet, nobody in the class even noticed! Yoga is like recess for adults.
Opportunities – At Health Yoga Life, there are so many wonderful teachers, which means many opportunities to learn different techniques from seasoned practitioners. After being a HYL student for nearly two years now, I’m happy to say that I’ve developed a practice that works best for me. It’s a hybrid of power poses, active breath and meditation which I’ve learned from the best.
Gratitude – Starting or ending the day on my yoga mat is a blessing. Just knowing that I have the physical and mental strength to arrive is a blessing in itself. You’ll often hear instructors say, “arriving is the hardest part” and I’m a firm believer in that. Whether you hit snooze a few times and struggle to get to the 6:30 a.m. class or rush out of work to make it to the 5:45 p.m., be grateful that you are present.
Awareness – One of my favorite parts of practice is that it has taught me to be more aware of my physical and emotional being. If I have a stomach ache, breathe into it. If my head hurts, breathe into it. Twice a day, I find myself doing a full body scan, similar to Savasana, at my desk. This allows me to check in, release any unnecessary stress and recharge for the remainder of the day.
If you’re reading this and have been a HYL student for quite some time now, what does Y.O.G.A. stand for to you?
If you’re newer to the practice, I encourage you to check out many of the amazing classes and workshops that HYL has to offer and come up with your own acronym for Y.O.G.A.
*Photo credit – HYL’s recent teacher trainees in Downward Dog