The Path to Yoga Continues + Giveaway!
[photo by Jana Powers]
My only exposure to yoga before 2011 was an occasional class in college, but that year, a turbulent emotional time pushed me to pursue yoga in a more purposeful way. I signed up for a monthly membership and went five times a week for an entire month, and then I wrote about what happened here.
In honor of Meditation month, I wanted to write about what yoga has taught me since then, but I was surprised to discover when I re-read my post that I still can’t say it much more precisely than I did four years ago. Getting involved with the yoga community in New Orleans has introduced me to some of my favorite people here. Remembering the lessons I learn on my mat has kept me more grounded and in tune with the flow of my life. I am more open to miracles and less discouraged by feelings of resistance and discomfort. I am grateful for my challenges and hard times because they lead me to reconnect with the universe.
I have learned that I can sit with uncomfortable feelings and they will pass, that I tend to shy away from things just when I’m on the verge of a breakthrough, that there is no better time than now and no better mindset than “yes, I will.” I have learned the best way out is always through and when I’m scared to do something, it’s what I need to do the most.
Yoga has convinced me of the importance to be mindful in each moment – that’s where the magic happens. I want to appreciate the little things that make up my life. To borrow the words of Dr. Johnson, I now seek “to find the relatedness, the value, even the beauty, in simple and ordinary things, not to eternally demand a cosmic drama, an entertainment, or an extraordinary intensity in everything.”
On a practical level, I just recently reintroduced weight training into my routine and yoga benefits me here, too – I recover faster, have more flexibility during the sessions, and am more aware of my form.
I would love to share the benefits of yoga with you. I am giving away a 5-class package to Reyn Studios in New Orleans ($70 value) – to enter, follow @nikitanola and @reynstudiosnola on Instagram and tag a friend in the comments of my giveaway photo. You have until Friday night at 8 PM to enter; winner will be announced Saturday! (If you don’t have Instagram, leave a comment below with your name and e-mail to enter.)