Yoga yourself to stillness

I can’t say that yoga has ever been a true passion of mine when it comes to physical activities that connect with mind, body centering.  I have much preferred pilates through the years as the fluidity of the movements reminds me a lot of dance and I have found it to be less strenuous on my knees and joints.

But perhaps the main reason I have shied away from yoga has been the overwhelming adherence to form and strict postures that weighed on my body and left me more contorted at the end of a session than relaxed and centered.

I recently returned back to yoga and found that I have met myself and the practice of this exercise with delight.  The sessions I attend are slow paced, with enough time in between moves to get your body in alignments and breathe through it before you find yourself at the other end of the mat.

The place I attend also brings together people of all different levels of physical fitness and therefore lends itself to creating an environment that supports the exercises being available for interpretation.  What I also discovered has helped me return to yoga with ease has been my own relationship with my body. Through the past 5 months as I have been building up my body through strength training and cardiovascular work, I have learned that my body needs a balance of rigor and ease of physical exertion.

Yoga provides this without having to jump about or lift heavy weights.  I find that my belly opens up and the tightness that around my abdomen area relaxes which is therapeutic.  It also brings my mind into alignment with my body where I get a chance to check in with muscles and the fluidity of my energy and wake up those areas that need some fresh oxygen or a stretch.

I always look forward to the final few minutes of class with the meditation and my chance to say thank you to my body and spirit for this opportunity to enjoy being alive through movement and stillness.

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