Nearly five years ago, I was at a pivotal point in my adult life. I was seriously evaluating where I was, why I was in my current life situation, and whether I wanted to stay in that space. I had accomplished a lot at 36 years of age. I had gotten married to my high school sweetheart, started a family, and earned both a bachelors and master’s degree. Despite this, I was ridiculously unhappy. I felt like a caged bird that wanted to be let free, but at that time, I was not sure what I wanted to be free from. My thoughts were all over the place but I knew that self-discovery was in order. So, I went on a journey to answer some serious questions and explore what I needed most to by truly happy and fulfilled.
I am not really sure how I knew to incorporate yoga in my life. Maybe it was due to the exposure I had received during my graduate studies in health promotion. Maybe it was intuition. Who knows. All I know is that I needed something to help me process all of the emotions and feelings I had experienced over the years and would be experiencing in the future.
So, I signed up for yoga classes online. I paid $17.95 a month to have unlimited access to yoga classes in my home. As a mother of four young children, going to a gym was not an option. I told my then husband that it was important for me to take time to practice. He respected my wishes, for which, I am grateful.
From this initial experience, I realized that I needed to let go of a lot of old emotions and feelings that were holding me back. I realized that I had all of the power to be who and what I wanted to be. I came to the realization that I had been holding myself back from my destiny.
Here are a few reasons why I am grateful that I found yoga:
- Yoga taught me to maintain a positive connection with my mind and body. There is an amazing thing that happens when the mind and body are positively synced. It is easier to detect uneasy feelings within the body and then adjust mentally to calm that energy. On the mat, I learned that my mind and body work together as one refined instrument. If there is discord in the mind, the body will respond with discord. Aches and pains, tension, and health problems can ensue if this discord goes on for a long time. So, yoga practice taught me how to make connections with any discord among the two and make subtle adjustments as necessary – whether mental or physical
- I learned how important stillness is in my life – Eighteen years ago, I became a wife and mother within a matter of months. On top of these new responsibilities, I continued to pursue my bachelor’s degree. I completed my bachelor’s degree and, worked for a few years and was back in school pursuing my master’s degree. So, by the time I had accomplished all of this, my life was always in a state of movement. As you can imagine, quiet time and stillness were not very common elements in my world. Over time, I began to get weary and long for the time to sit still without any extra responsibilities beyond taking care of myself. Yoga allows me the opportunity to “BE” and I am grateful for every still moment.
- I gained strength and courage to overcome some challenging situations. I started practicing yoga before making a decision to end my marriage. All of the self-knowledge and awareness that I gained from yoga helped me through one of the most challenging times in my life.
Today, I can say that I am truly in a wonderful place – spiritually, mentally and physically. This doesn’t mean that I do not have bad days and get down sometimes. It means that when I do get in those places or feel myself “going there”, I know exactly what I need to do to find my center of gravity – get on the mat. Namaste