ALIVE is #Yogaat50 Lesson 8. When I practice yoga, I slow down and reconnect with every part of my body, mind, spirit, and heart. Through my yoga practice, I enter the present moment and become fully ALIVE. What does yoga do for you?
FOCUS is #Yogaat50 Lesson 7. For 20 years, yoga has offered me an opportunity to focus my breath, gaze, spirit, and energy so that they move as one when I practice poses, meditation, and Reiki. When I leave my yoga mat and move into the world, it has given me breathing and stretching tools to navigate emotions, experiences and interactions with others. What has yoga helped you focused on?
OPPORTUNITY is #Yogaat50 Lesson 6. When I was studying to become a yoga teacher at Flow Yoga Center in 2005, I had a homework assignment that required a definition of yoga. Here’s the definition I created and continue to use in my yoga practice, classes, and workshops: YOGA is Your Opportunity to Graciously Accept yourself and life in the present moment. What is your definition of yoga? What opportunity has yoga offered you?
ONENESS is #Yogaat50 Lesson 5. Through practicing yoga, I have learned firsthand that I am connected to everyone and everything in the universe. Having this awareness of oneness reminds me to honor everyone and everything as I would myself. On days when I choose to ignore this awareness, I’m grateful my yoga practice brings me back to the truth of my being. That usually happens when I sit in child’s pose and give myself Reiki.
Today I read an interview featuring Erykah Badu in Mantra Magazine. Erykah’s comments about her newfound love of yoga and mantras inspired me. Here’s what she said:
“I love yoga. I started taking yoga at a gym and I met the most wonderful instructor who teaches you in Sanskrit as well as in English. She repeats everything in Sanskrit. There’s something about the vibration of this language that really resonates with me and helps me to focus more on the breathing and not so much on the stretching.”
Her words made me think about some of my favorite mantras and how they have helped me strengthen my meditation, Reiki healing, and yoga practices. Click here to listen to Krishna Das chant OmNamah Shivaya which means “I bow to my inner self.” This sacred mantra helps me to surrender my ego to my highest self. It helps me live in the present moment. It opens my heart to Creator’s wisdom and blessings for my life.
Do you have any favorite mantras? How do they impact you?
Today, I discovered a new yoga memoir to add to my summer reading list. It’s called Yin, Yang, Yogini by Kathryn E. Livingston, an author, blogger, and yoga practitioner. Livingston’s memoir discusses how yoga transformed her life and taught her how to surrender and release the past and fear while living and trusting the present moment. I eager to read her book to learn more about her journey and how she faced the death of her parents, anxiety, breast cancer, and her children growing up and moving out of her home with yoga. Click here to learn more about Livingston and her Liv Write! blog.
Are you reading any yoga-inspired books this summer?
Mantras have been a part of my yoga practice for the past 10 years. Mantra is a Sanskrit word that means mind protection. It is a sacred word, sound or chant repeated during meditation to promote inner peace and facilitate transformation of your consciousness. Last week, I started Deva Premal & Miten’s 21-Day Mantra Meditation Journey to continue the work I have been doing to strengthen my meditation practice. The 21-Day Mantra Journey started on May 14 and offers a free, daily guided session. Click here to learn more.
Do you use mantras in your meditation and yoga practice?
It’s National Women’s Health Week, an annual health celebration I have used to recommit to my wellness commitments over the past decade. Practicing yoga on and off the mat is one of my wellness commitments that started in 1995.
I came to yoga as a 30-year-old runner, Type A legal and finance professional, artist, and writer who needed to release stress, stretch my body, and focus my mind. Child’s pose and downward facing dog were my favorite poses. They still are as I live my life as a 49-year-old (approaching 50 in December) artist, author, creativity coach, digital communications professional, and yoga teacher.
Side twists and savasana (final relaxation) pose also became some of my favorites during my yoga teacher training at Flow Yoga Center in 2005.
When you started practicing yoga, what were your favorite poses?