And So It Goes…Read More
I was asked, just days before the event, if I would give a holiday blessing at our local tree lighting .
So this is what I pulled together in the hope that I could reach across all walks of life regardless of age, experience and religion and serve to uplift and inspire my community like the magical twinkle of a holiday tree adorned in light:
The Evergreen tree has traditionally been used to celebrate winter festivals (Pagan and Christian) for thousands of years. It symbolizes eternal life as it retains it’s leaves all year round thus representing hope and new life.
This season is a special time, holy and sacred in that it lends an invitation into self-reflection around what is most important in our lives. We have an opportunity to allow what is petty to fall away and for what is relevant to rise from our hearts.
We have a burning desire as humans to be joyful, happy, inspired, content, to be able to express fully who we are without judgement, to love and be loved, to be fulfilled, connected and to experience freedom.
It is fullness in our hearts that move us from limitation and fear to expansion and love.
Do you want more joy, more energy, more happiness, more connection, more love in your life?
There is ONE simple tool that is available and free for you to implement and that is GRATITUDE.
Gratitude is a crucial quality to cultivate. It brings our attention into the present moment which is the only moment where miracles can unfold.
The deeper our appreciation, the more connected we are to the light within us, our true Self and the more life flows in ease and harmony.
This a season for magic. In the backdrop of the beauty of winter’s nature and all of the lights, we witness the beauty within ourselves when we open our hearts to generosity, kindness and compassion for one another.
This is an extraordinary season that inspires us to service, tending to those who are struggling, have less than ourselves, those who see less within themselves and have lost their way into the darkness.
Offering a loving gesture goes a long way: a smile, a warm meal, offering an ear to listen, a hug…simple acknowledgement and taking that moment to reach out in kindness can make all the difference. Remembering, that truly, we are all in this life together.
Let us be a beacon of light into the world in order to escape the darkness of fear and ignorance and arrive at the light of new possibility.
Close your eyes and take a deep breathe in through the nose, inhaling the life-force of gratitude, filling your hearts full of light and love. Now, exhale and allow the words from this next poem to inspire you in whatever way that it may…
May we love ever more.
May we motivate ourselves to committed love in action.
May we motivate ourselves to live the life
we wish to see in the world.
May we be the transformation we wish to see in the world.
From the inside out…From the roots branching upwards,
From the heart
Through life’s trials and hardships,
We can rise beautiful and free.
~Julia Butterfly Hill
Let us shine our lights into the world on this beautiful dark snowy night!
Now open your eyes.
*click…the lights on the tree sparkle and radiate their magical glow. Through the slow, soft falling snow, the choir carolers pipe in with their beautiful, fragrant voices as cups of hot cocoa are nestled between warm our hands.
It is only in THIS moment, standing in presence, that we can move forward through whatever we must face in order to grow.
It is fear, the fear of thinking and of mistakingly believing that we are not enough, that we are weak, that we cannot handle our circumstances, that we are unworthy and somehow an epic fail.
All of this self-loathing dialogue that somehow has found it’s way on “repeat” in the ticker tape of our minds, takes us out at our knees, throwing us to the ground, not only blemishing our knees but paralyzing us physically, mentally and emotionally.
We react to the made up fear in our minds.
At the same time, the inner body eternally exists in it’s unstoppable, tenacious strength. It is unshakable, unlike the body. It is immovable and radiant with love -the stitching holding us together in wholeness.
Our mind does not understand this phenomena, yet it is through our hearts that dwell the faith and the strength to rise back up, to take a stand, no matter how weakly, how unbalanced or graceful.
Standing strong may not necessarily feel or look like a mountain, it may surface as a bodily heap collapsed on the floor crying or writhing in pain as we clutch at our heartaches.
We embody an energy that heals emotional wounds, that slices through the darkness to allow light to radiate and for the love that’s unconditional, to seep into our wary bones and into the depths of our knowing.
We need to be quiet so we can feel this.
Surround yourself in the solitude of nature in which god’s whisper can be heard more clearly and then close your eyes, let go of the fear through slow rhythmic breaths, relax the muscles of the body and release the gripping of the mind.
Fall into the lap of love.
Allow the hands of wisdom to caress your temple and the sweet breath of spirit to pour over your body.
You are enough.
You are worthy.
You are whole.
You are strong.
You are beautiful.
You are perfect in your imperfection.
When you’re longing for sunshine and the lazy days of long, warm summer nights has morphed into rainy, cold, grey days, how do you get a grip?
Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that occurs in the fall and winter months, most likely in response to the fewer hours of daylight. Symptoms usually begin in late fall or early winter and go on until the following summer. A less common type of SAD, summer-onset depression, usually begins in the late spring or early summer and continues until the following winter. Between four percent and six percent of people in the United States are believed to suffer from SAD. Another 10 percent to 20 percent experiences a milder form of winter-onset SAD. This disorder is more common in women than in men. Although some children and teenagers are affected, SAD usually occurs in people between 18 and 30 years of age.
Some medical experts endorse the following :
1. The use of light boxes to uplift your mood: check out the Verilux Happy Light: delivering therapeutic white light that is just as effective as some of the higher priced products.
2. MOVE-Exercise is recommended as the most effective treatment for mild to moderate depression.
3. Vitamin D deficiency might underlie SAD and that supplementing with vitamin D may help. Since it is estimated that more than 70 percent of the U.S. population is D-deficient, Dr. Weil recommends that everyone take a daily supplement of 2,000 IU but notes that higher doses of vitamin D may be needed to effectively treat SAD.
Other vital recommendations:
4. Get outside and embrace nature’s uplifting surroundings. Be sure to dress appropriate for the elements and then go for it!
5. Connect to others-Reach out to your “tribe” (friends, family, community, your pet) for an uplift: they may meet you for a drink, offer a joke, go for a walk with you or just simply understand.
6. Do More of what makes your soul happy.
7. Nourish Yourself-Buy those colorful fresh flowers, light candles, take a regular yoga class, have dinner parties, go bowling, etc…
8. Read inspirational material/listen to music that stirs your soul and moves your spirit.
9. Meditate-It promotes emotional health and well-being. One study followed 18 volunteers as they practiced meditation over three years. The study found that participants experienced long-term decreases in depression.
Inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, which are released in response to stress, can affect mood, leading to depression. A review of several studies suggests meditation may reduce depression by decreasing these inflammatory chemicals.
10. Laugh More-laughter is strong medicine. It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. As children, we used to laugh hundreds of times a day, but as adults life tends to be more serious and laughter more infrequent. By seeking out more opportunities for humor and laughter, though, you can improve your emotional health, strengthen your relationships, find greater happiness—and even add years to your life.
*Remember to be grateful for SOMETHING, no matter how small, EVERY day, and see how that brings you back to joy. Gratitude transcends negative energy and delivers you back into the abundance that flows within you, always guiding you into aligment with well-being.♥️
Blessings to you, xo Kristin
Happy December Friends
As the days draw shorter and fall into darkness, we feel it's downward pull on many levels.
How can we stay centered during the holiday hustle and bustle?
How do we manage the intense emotions that may accompany the holidays?
What strategies do we apply to stay true to ourselves and honor our bodies' capabilities in order to manage the stress load that we experience at our own, unique level?
1. The first order of business is to BREATHE. Never underestimate the power of a deep full breath (it activates your parasympathetic nervous system lending you to immediately feel calm). Realize that there is something greater within you able to handle anything that comes your way. You got this! You do.
2. Be grateful for something every day and feel the negative energy transform.
3. Take care of yourself: Do those things that nourish your body, mind, emotions and make your heart full!
4. Don't take your negative thoughts seriously, this too shall pass.
5. Be generous. Tis' the season of giving, so serve others in a generous way and in turn feel the uplift you experience in making others smile. In return you will receive the gift of your own giving.
6. Allow for any emotions that you experience to move through you, acknowledge them, feel them, honor them and then let them go. Return to being in the moment.
7. Open your heart and allow for what feels unresolved in your heart to simply be. Letting go of needing something to change or be fixed in this moment lifts the heaviness of that burden. Trust the unfoldment has its own time without forcing it to be one way or another.
8. Be present here and now...it is the greatest gift, (which is why we call a present a gift ;).
Fill your heart with love and gratitude and immediately you remember the abundance within you. Yes, you have the power to do this. Be light and let joy!
It's hard to say goodbye to the ease of summer. The heat of the sun kissing our skin and drawing us into the delight of warmth and freedom. The long hot days that call us to water, sand, and mountain tops, barefoot and nearly naked. The outdoor soirees that linger into the warm firefly lit night. The magic of camp fires. The romance of the bright moonbeams as they dance over the sound of laughter and music in the air.
We suddenly seem to transition into the bite of colder air and close up our toes in fall boots, wrap our bronzed skin with wool. The deep sigh at the pressure of putting those once abundant, colorful gardens to bed and observing those wood piles that need replenishing. The transitions into new work, carpooling, and our kids' rigid sports schedules can throw us into an initial stage of resistance or even dread.
So how do we surrender to a new season?
The Fall equinox is a perfect balance between seasons, poised and suspended as summer is behind us and winter before us. This state is ideal for reflection, for self-observation and introspection. A time to practice accepting change and let go of the resistance to natural forces which otherwise causes us to struggle.
This is an ideal time to practice "Aparigraha" non-grasping, non-attachment or non-possessiveness, the last of the 5 Yamas (or restraints) in the 8-limbed path of yoga.
What are we holding onto a little too tightly?
Is it some physical, emotional or mental baggage we've collected through out life's journey? A box of photos or belongings of an old ex that collects dust and takes up space? That relationship that truly doesn't make us feel good? Judgements, negative opinions and beliefs? Let them go. Let them all go like the effortless release of the leaves from a tender breeze.
What is constant, is change. So...how do we surrender?
1. Spend time in Nature: there is freedom and connection in the natural world. Tap into this effortless rhythm of life and center yourself. Take a walk in the silence of the forest, along a leaf littered trail along a river, or a hike to the top of mountain and allow for this deeper connection to inspire you to remember your SELF.
2. Be grateful: slough off negativity, let go of the pettiness and allow yourself to smile, open your mind and heart in order to receive a fresher perspective.
3. Get to your yoga mat: Breathe long, slow deep full breaths to get the body to release tension, and create calm. It is here we practice aparigraha in the letting go of our breath. If we were to hold it in too long, it's nourishing qualities turn toxic and create suffering. As we trust in the natural flow of breath and guide our bodies to move and breathe fully, we are filled with stronger life force energy.
4. De-clutter: Get rid of those things that do not bring you joy or serve you in a positive way, both in your work space and in your home.
when we let go, we are liberated.
Our heads are spinning over crazy headlines, our hearts are breaking over personal traumas and greater world events. Our emotions can feel stirred to the surface and spin into directionless turmoil. Somehow we need to get a grip.
We need and desire to function in our own lives. We crave balance and grounding in order to feel good, to be able to follow through with our personal responsibilities, to serve the greater good of our communities and touch human kind in a positive way.
Simple Tips for getting an F'in GRIP:
- BREATHE: breathing properly allows your nervous system to track back into balance, create calm in the body and let the gripping angst of the mind to release. Proper breathing first involves drawing the breath deep into your gut and expanding your belly, then allow the breath to continue to rise filling the torso and feeling the ribs expand, then fill the chest. Allow a deep release of the EXHALE. When we are stressed out or in fear we only breathe into the upper part of the chest, tightening neck and shoulders and not engaging the relaxation response (parasympathetic nervous system) and remain in the mode of stress (Flight or Flight Response). Practice taking deep breaths throughout the day to keep yourself centered. This will also allow you to come from a more centered place to act rather than react and to recover from or prevent losing your shit.
- THE F BOMB : “FCK it!” ...Drop the F bomb as needed. However, apply it wisely & appropriately~for example alone in your car, outside in the woods, in your closet, with friends/family who can handle or also use the F bomb. Be mindful not to explode it around young children, throwing it out in a coffee shop, dropping it in line at the grocery store, blasting the innocent bank teller-you get the point...and then practice your deep breathing!
- EXERCISE: moving your body is vital to getting stress to exit your muscles and tissues and also helps to clear the mind of that exhausting mental chatter. Exercise triggers your body to release endorphins, “feel good” chemicals, allowing for a positive energizing outlook on life. So, go for a brisk walk, take a hike, dance around wildly in your underwear, go for a bike ride, run...whatever form of movement that makes you feel good. Get motivated and just do it, and you will feel better!
- GET OUT IN NATURE: Reset by soaking up the nourishing energy of the natural world. Nature provides calming energy, It recharges us and helps boost mental health. Go surround yourself in it and realize the calm place within you.
- MEDITATE: Sit comfortably, close your eyes and keep directing your focus to the breath. Allow the thoughts to come and go without dwelling on or getting lost in them. Just be witness to the moment. Each time the mind wanders, you come back to being here and now. That’s it in a nutshell. To practice staying present is the most powerful place to be because its the only moment where your LIFE is happening. Meditation decreases stress, anxiety and depression, calms the body & mind, Increases mental focus, concentration and creates health and happiness.
- DO YOGA: Yoga provides the opportunity for moving out the crazy, letting go of stress and bringing all systems back into harmony and balance. Yoga offers a host of benefits on ALL levels-physical,mental,emotional and spiritual by creating strength and flexibility in the physical body, calming the mind and creating clarity from connecting to an inner source of wisdom. Commit to a weekly practice and feel the shift happen.
- CONNECT to YOUR TRIBE: surround yourself with people who have your back, touch your heart, make you hungry for life and nourish you soul. Life is too short and precious to hang with those that don’t or those who are threatened by you thriving.
- LAUGH OUT LOUD: laughter is powerful medicine. It fuels a healthy immune system, decreases pain, releases stress and allows us to feel uplifted from all that pulls us down. Hang with your bestie’s and/or watch a comedy, make it happen.
" Let go of what you can’t control and know that you have within you the POWER to control how you choose to respond!”
It only takes a second to offer someone a smile and in an instant create a sweet connection. You never know the impact a heartfelt smile has and may be that perfect moment in which someone needs the uplifting, kind energy a smile exudes to simply make their day.
2. Make Eye Contact
It's been said that the eyes are the window into the soul. A powerful way to connect is to offer your presence through making eye contact. This creates a space of trust and safety allowing another to open up.
3. Be Present
One of the greatest gifts you can give another is to simply be present. Give your full, undivided attention by putting the phone away, letting go of distractions and feel the connection deepen.
4. Truly Listen
Are you really listening to the other person or are you contemplating in head how you are going to respond? Are you judging the other or swept up in the inner dialogue that runs unconscious commentary? Or are you constantly interrupting? You hear them speak but you are truly not listening. Breathe, Practice listening with you heart and get out of your head. Connect to true listening and truly be there for the people in your life.
5. Show Love
Turn love into a verb and show it! Don't hold back expressing appreciation for another. Take on simple acts of making someone laugh, offer a shoulder or a foot rub, cook a delicious nourishing meal, hold her hand, write him a love note...
6. Spend Quality Time
Carve out time to be with your loved one/s. Make an effort to schedule that date or activity, as well as creating some quiet time for yourself.
7. Communicate Openly & Honestly
Relationships require open, honest, compassionate communication in order to thrive. Dropping blame and defensiveness and engaging in heartfelt communication only serves to deepen a healthy connection.
8. Be Bold, Be You
Be authentically, unapologetically you. Masking who you are doesn't serve you, the other or heartfelt connection. Move through the fear of rejection in your head, allow yourself to be vulnerable, share your self with others and create that deep connection.
The practice of yoga has the ability to transform us from the inside out, and perhaps those working from the outside finding themselves going inward if they are given the space and permission and gentle guidance to do so.
Unfortunately many western classes disassociate the inner practice of yoga with the physical practice of yoga. In some instances, Yoga itself has become glamorized and commodified and does not allow the practitioner to access the deeper meanings within themselves. Yoga is then seen as egotistical and reflecting only its outer container, the body and primarily focusing on looking good. Statistics taken in 2016, show that $9,300,000.000 is spent annually in the US on yoga accessories (clothing, mats etc...).
When you first practice yoga you may spend the first few classes or years trying to prove something, prove your strength to avoid vulnerability, to get the poses “perfect “ in order to please your teacher, or simply to look good and avoid looking bad.
The ones that do remind you of your inner world, to be present with what's below the physical surface and to meet yourself in a space of acceptance and compassion will transform you on many levels.
When you devote yourself to your yoga practice, consistently returning to your mat, you will strengthen and tone your body physically, enhance your flexibility, find an internal and external balance, calm the mind and foster the desire to nourish yourself in other healthy ways. These may include not only what you ingest, but what kind of people you invite and allow into your personal space, what you are willing to negotiate or what is no longer negotiable.
When you are guided to inward introspection, you are reminded to let go of what you're no longer willing to settle for, to let go of what you are unable to control, to let go of all that stands in your way to serving your authentic Self as you discover who that is. You gain more awareness into your body, your emotions and how your mind operates.
You open to what is possible for you.
You may find that you want to settle for MORE.
This opening allows you to witness and experience where you're holding back in your life, exposing yourself to your inner truth, perhaps the one that you have been denying, avoiding and numbing with pastries & wine... because you don’t want to look at your own suffering and sadness and you sure as hell wouldn't want to create discomfort in rocking any boats in fear of change.
When you witness someone else honor their truth, can you help but feel it stir something within yourself?
Will your own truth be awakened by others who make that bold move into their own greatness, are courageous enough to push through the fear and take the risk to change their life because they know they must or alternatively wither away from an internal death caused by being inauthentic with themselves?
That truth that has been buried beneath the surface yet gently glowing like a warm ember in the chambers of your heart and in the hearth of your gut will ignite a lick of flame and the warm sensation will rise from the depths of your chest, and burst through the surface as a cellular resounding “YES!” And you will know.
The truth has its own driving force with in us and when given an opening~LOOK OUT!
Try corralling a thunderbolt, hold back a current or contain a rainstorm with your bare hands. It could potentially change your life for good, and for the greater good even though in the process it appears your life is crumbling apart and you find that you’ve lost all vision of what your future could potentially hold.
Trust the timing of this space of opening. Trust the unfoldment of you life.
Let go of what you think it should look like and open up to the truth of what is before you.
When you can finally come to a place of allowing yourself to breakdown and come apart, to be vulnerable, raw and REAL ~this humbling opens you up to the truth of who you are & gives you the gift of compassion. You see clearly what you struggle with, what you are grateful for, what hidden truths exist beneath the surface, what negative thoughts arise, the judgements and analytical commentary that sweeps through the mind exposing all of the light and dark shades of being human...
When you can look at all THAT with compassion and acceptance you cannot help but be transformed.
When you move, sweat and breath out the layers of accumulated stress,come present to what's real in the moment, release the resistance to what is, press beyond the boundaries of comfort and stretch into a new way of being, you will grow and you will transform whether you like it or not.
The hidden truths that knot you up inside will unravel and come to the surface, like seaweed on a wave. You cannot help but to connect to deeper parts of yourself and return to a known wisdom within that you can trust to guide you when you are brave enough to simply be honest with your self.
It is simply the TRUTH. This is an awakening. It may not be want you think you want, It may never have been what you expected or desired and it may not look the way you want it to look.
AND it may be just the thing that will allow you to finally break free and shine more gloriously than you knew was possible.
It is NO coincidence that I am finding myself in the throws of expanding my yoga studio at this moment in time, now.
The expansion is overdue and as badly as I wanted it, over the last few years of turning students away from full classes, I wasn’t able to make it happen.
There were forces (internal and external) keeping me tethered to a small space.
The process of expansion involves getting real about what’s not working for you in your life, gathering bucketloads of courage and giving yourself permission to do something about it rather than ignoring it or telling it to F off with another glass of wine perhaps coupled with a decadent chocolate cupcake laden heavy with creamy frosting.
The process of expansion then undeniably involves the stormy process of “letting go of what no longer serves you.”
This seemingly worn out, frayed at the edges phrase casts its timeless presence through the lips of many yoga instructors and weaves itself firmly into the fabric of life itself.
As simple as this phrase appears, it offers a most profound challenge.
The undertaking of honoring one’s truth and letting go might prove to be easier than you thought or it may be the most arduous, heart breaking, soul wrenching, gut twisting AND necessary experience that you have ever had.
This process of demolition will crack you wide open in order to stretch the wings of freedom and unearth a grander more authentic expression of you.
As the initial structures fall, shaking the very foundation you stand on and releasing the grip of any control you thought you had, soon many more will collapse in its wake throwing you upside down and sideways as if getting plowed by a wave and tossed into a bruising spin cycle of sand, seaweed and surf leaving you gasping for breath---waking the next morning, after having showered the night before, to find more seaweed and sand tumbling about in the bedsheets.
It is a messy, chaotic process and YET in its midst CAN we catch a glimpse of how the debris lays beautifully scattered?
As we evolve, life changes and Shift Happens!
Change is constant although most of us humans strive to maintain status quo, struggle to remain comfortable and cling to what’s familiar and attempt to settle in.
The fear of change, of hardship and of loss keeps us anchored.
In the efforts to resist change you will experience suffering. Let it go, and you are free.
We learn that life in its impermanence entails the relentless falling away and the creating anew, a steady construction site of demolition and rebuilding.
When we allow ourselves to extract from the forces that hold us back anything is possible.
The falling apart is necessary to create a space for something new and finer.
We reach for our level to establish a horizontal plane in the efforts to fabricate a well-balanced, congruous structure. We fasten the nails for strong foundation. We select the materials, colors and fabrics that resonate with who we are now. The more subtle and harmonious details continually unfold in our mind as the space expands.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”`Anais Nin
Reflections on the Season
Autumn is a time of letting go and releasing what has been a burden, accepting the impermanence of things and a time to let go of what we cling to that keeps us from expressing the greatest versions of our Self.
Trust in the timing of things that need to fall away.
The Autumn equinox, on Sept. 22, follows fresh off the heels of the full harvest moon and the intensity of the third lunar eclipse carrying with that a strong emotional intensity of breaking free from what we have allowed ourselves to settle for.
Instead fire up the courage to go after what truly resonates within your own inner integrity and allow for true self alignment.
What’s being asked of us is to follow our hearts no matter what tugs and pulls on us to resist change.The energies are open to explore what’s possible in a healthy love relationship and to embrace the love that we deserve and desire: are you ready?
What is it that needs to be expressed within you?
Will you face the undeniable internal force that is challenging you to let go? And in that same breath will you face what resists that and challenges you to hold on?
So, we have the choice to breathe deep and have the courage to look into our own internal struggle to simply bear witness to what’s revealed by the light while simultaneously creating space to feel all that’s there that stirs us on so many levels and perhaps awaken to clearer perspective and purpose.
We are constantly and silently pulled by many forces that dictate our actions or non action.
Fall is a season for balancing the forces of light and dark. Far too often we fear the dark. How can one befriend the darkness?
We allow the darkness to be a place of slow, steady gestation and a still quiet space of refuge needed to expand. We trust that the darkness is serving our soul’s growth.
The light is there to guide us forward as we let go of past hurts, bitterness, relationships that no longer serve us, anger and resentments. Hanging onto all this will only act as poison in your own systems and thus create dis-ease.
Now is the time to detox and cleanse yourself from all that's not serving YOU, let it go and allow for a healthier possibility for yourself.
Join us for Autumn Equinox Yoga : Thursday Sept. 22 2016. The Night and Day are of equal lengths. We balance the light and dark within us as we let go of Summer and surrender to welcome Autumn. This is a time to release the grip of what we cling to that keeps us from expressing the greatest versions of our Self.Read More
I am amazed at how often I hear people say this in response to trying out yoga. “Sure you can," I say with a big smile: “just bend your knees... and a lot!”
I am serious about that, for real~ I have everyone bend their knees in a forward fold.
The purpose of yoga isn’t to be able to touch your toes nor is that a prerequisite for trying out a yoga class or considering yourself as “someone who can do yoga.”
Rather, its about showing up and doing what you can do.
It is important to choose a class that fits what you're looking for too: such as an all levels class (includes beginners as well as intermediate), or a gentle beginner's class to assist you in getting introduced to the practice of yoga. There are many variations and styles out there (including instructors) to choose from in order to find the right fit for you. Be willing to try something new and unexpected: I have many who say they don't like the heat and won't come to a hot yoga class. I say, "give it try, you may hate it or you might love it, see what happens." There have been many surprised that they love heated yoga despite what they thought.
There are many in the mindset that yoga is unavailable to them because they do not feel they are flexible enough, a tracking point being that are unable to touch their toes.
You do not have to be flexible in order to do yoga!
“ACK! “ and they don’t come and they have no idea they are missing out on the potential deliciousness yoga has to offer!
Yoga has so much more to do with meeting your body wherever it is in its realm of physical fitness and flexibility or lack there of!
Moving your body, opening your heart up, expanding your perspective is vital for a healthy vibrant life, AND yoga can assist you in all that.
When we feel good in our bodies, we are strong, confident, balanced and happy.
To feel good in your body and recognize where you may not feel so good is all part of the practice. Some days we feel like a rockstar on our mats and our bodies flow with strength, ease and freedom and other days we just aren't feeling so stellar and our bodies move like lead, we struggle through the poses and perhaps we want to F'in curse and cry ~or both. It's the same experience off our mats.
AND that’s ok! This is all part of the experience in yoga and in life. RIGHT?!
The challenge is to make it what you want it to be, for you have the power to create your experience by simply shifting how you think about it.
More often than not (99% of the time?) we cannot control our circumstances of life around us. We can, however, control our responses to circumstances of life and even that is a challenge and requires practice. So it's important to remember that you have the ability to BEGIN AGAIN, to re-create yourself anew at any moment.
A good place to begin is on your mat. Practice accepting yourself as you move through the asanas (yoga postures), Especially if you are brand new to a class. It takes time to figure out what “Utanasa” is (if your instructor is throwing out sanskrit) or common names like“downward facing dog” and to experience it in your body. It's like anything else in life, the more you practice, the more familiar and confident you feel.
Do not judge yourself, criticize yourself and for sure practice letting go of comparing yourself to others. Comparison is “the thief of joy” and you don’t need to make yourself feel like crap especially when you have already hurdled the fears and excuses in order to be able to show up on your mat.
You already are victorious~Because you showed up on your mat and that takes courage!
So go for it and revel in the fact that you cannot touch your toes and instead be curious about the practice , how it feels in your body, what you can experience in each moment and release any expectations. You are not there on your mat to prove anything to anyone, but simply to be in your body, finding self-expression and breathing. It's that simple.
Your yoga practice is about your own awareness into your self, you own growth and transformation. Be open to the experience of yoga through being present and the idea that: anything is possible.
When you commit to your yoga practice and persevere, who knows someday you may be able to touch your toes (wink).