This evening, I ventured out to try a new yoga studio. I have been in search of a vinyasa practice that would be a good fit for me. The minute I walked into the studio, I immediately felt a certain energy in the room. The class had not yet begun, but I just knew that this was going to be the place for me. I certainly used my intuitive sixth sense on this, and I was correct.
Yoga has been a part of my life, exercising the mind and body, for some time now. As we discuss the topic of SPIRIT this week, I thought about the strong link between spiritual connection, or enlightenment, and yoga. Through yoga practice, we strengthen our spirit by bringing our energy inward, starting with an awareness to our breath. It is the first kriya, or action of our soul. By turning inward, we can access that part of us that connects to something greater – that intuitive energy we discussed, the divine power that resides within us, and our authentic selves.
The path to spiritual wellness can take any form. It can involve prayer, meditation, affirmations, and/or any specific belief system you espouse. The important piece is that you find purpose and meaning to the flow of your life. Although yoga is my conduit for this flow, being mindful does not have to come only through yoga. You can easily start your day with an intention, just as we do at the beginning of yoga class.
What do you hope to give of yourself today? What answers are you seeking today? Where can you find peace today? When we intend something, we are connecting to that higher power and we are believing in it. We are believing and having unwavering faith that something larger exists within us and for us.
There is an indescribable feeling you have when you set your mind to something and then achieve it. Yesterday, I felt the ultimate rush as I crossed the finish line of my 1/2 marathon. It was pure exhiliration followed by full exhalation…..a feeling of accomplishment, gratefulness, and love, coupled with the aftermath of delicious fatigue of the mind and body. It is a journey of giving yourself fully and wholeheartedely and then being able to relish in the view from the other side.
I did a lot of thinking during my 13.1 miles. As I reflected upon the many challanges I have faced in my life (as we all have), I thought about running as being a metaphor for life. There are times you feel great and at ease, while other times you are challenged to your full extent. There are moments of confidence followed by fear and self-doubt. And then there are those crucial minutes when all you can do is place one foot after the next in hopes of moving foward one step at a time, one breath at a time.
I realized that so many of our wellness concepts were interwoven into this run. I was, without a doubt, exercising my mind & body throughout. I had to be present and mindful to allow myself to have the mental and physical stamina. I had taken the risk and challenged myself to go the distance – in more ways than one. I felt gratitude for my health – the muscles, bones, and organs that allowed me to perform this task. Finally, in the end, it was truly about letting go and knowing that each step was guiding me toward my destination.
So……how do we do this latter part? Let’s discuss some strategies this week on letting go and going with the flow. After all, there are countless finish lines to cross in our lives. And each can be just as exhilirating has finishing a 1/2 marathon, if you can allow yourself to let go. Stay tuned!