CAN WE NAMASTE OUR WAY TO HAPPY?
Why am I doing yoga still after 20 years? Also, why did I roll my eyes at yogis in my younger years when I saw them doing outdoor yoga on the lawn at UCLA? It’s a funny thing when you turn 40 and everything in life has new meaning. Including understanding the benefits of not only body and mind, but how to reset your whole way of thinking through the practice of yoga. My mind was once again blown away this a.m. And here’s why.
I’m going to be transparent here. No surprise. I’m pretty much an open book. I don’t know any other way to be. But with years under my belt, comes knowledge. And with knowledge, comes truth. Truth is weird. Sometimes it’s incredibly beautiful. And sometimes it straight up sucks. Case in point, me, in real life, in real time this a.m.
This morning’s yoga practice took me to church. And no, please don’t be offended I said that. Let’s not attack. I don’t mean yoga is church. But what if I did? (I’m not, in the literal sense), but let’s just say that I did. And let’s just say that you took it with a grain of empathetic salt. This morning’s love sesh of hot yoga took me home. It took me to church. It took me to that legitimate place of vast genuine self worthiness and joy of self. Of unapologetic I just spent an hour and a half on myself and I feel so joyful and so rejuvenated words of praise. It cleansed me like the Hawaiian ocean does when I dive straight into a wave after 5 years of not seeing that ocean. It lifted me. I felt lighter. Clearer. Sweatier. Happier.
My therapist just recently told me I’m a highly anxious person. I didn’t actually realize that’s the truth about myself. But it made all the sense. It could also be the reason my mother has been saying to me for years, “Relax honey, enjoy yourself.” Bleep. Ain’t that the truth.
This morning I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I celebrated myself. My teacher Gilbert asked at the beginning of class “to feel how you’re feeling. Know how you feel in your body.” And by the end of the hour when we lay down in savasana (corpse pose) he asked us “to feel how you’re feeling. How do you feel in your body?” The difference in my mind and body by the end of class, was transformative.
I know I know, really?
Is it possible to be transformed after a yoga class?
I never thought of it this deeply when I was in my twenties in Hollywood, California in a yoga studio. But I do remember feeling like I was changed after class. Like I felt different. And it was always better.
Case in point today, I feel better. But it’s a different kind of better. It’s a I have 3 kids and I’m more tired in my forties better. It’s a when you sit still and breathe and feel the breath come in and out of your body while simultaneously sweating out all your toxins and negativity that might have been weighing you down kind of better. It’s a I just took time for myself to better my body and my mind and my soul is better for it.
It’s knowing that when you take care of your body and have a brilliant educated instructor guiding your through a beautiful practice, you lose sight of negativity or weird thoughts and away they go. And that renewed feeling stays with you when you walk down the street, when you work, when you meet a stranger or when you play with your children.
That’s why yoga is powerful.
And that’s why I’m still practicing yoga 20 years later.
Will yoga make me bikini ready in 3 weeks for my vacay?
Will it make me skinnier?
Maybe, not sure.
Will it fix all my fears and anxiety and problems in the world?
Not sure. But it’s possible.
Will it cleanse me in the way that I needed so desperately to be cleansed by just simply giving myself grace by granting me an hour to myself to focus on mind and body and soul?
Yoga works for me. So do many other practices, including Pilates, walking, hiking and dancing.
But yoga has been consistently the practice that lifts me up and leaves me up there.
And that is precisely why I return.
I highly recommend trying it and finding teachers who guide you here. When you do, it’s transforming. And that’s just the damn truth.
Happy yoga friends. Love you truly. K bye.