If there's one constant in life, it is change.
Last October I started practicing Yoga at our local YMCA regularly and fell in love with the practice...so much so that I wanted to dig deeper. So early this year I switched gears and started practicing Heated or Hot Yoga at least five days a week at Corepower Yoga.
Whenever I tell people that I practice Heated or Hot Yoga (Heated = approx. 98 degrees, 30-40% humidity, practicing various Vinyasa flows. Hot = approx. 105-108 degrees 30-40% humidity, practicing the same Hatha breathing and flows.) there are generally two types of reactions.. one is "I tried that once and almost died." or "That's crazy!" The first reaction always resonates with me the most, as sometimes it does feel a little bit like dying...and I choose that. I choose to leave the parts of me that are dragging me down on my mat. I let them die there so that I can move into my day with a strong mind, powerful body and a lighter step as I've left what was weighing me down behind.
I've practiced with people that I loved, then lost. I've also practiced with complete strangers, and over time formed a bond of respect. I've been moved to tears on my mat, I've overcome challenge and emerged triumphant as well.
In a society where we are always expected to be doing "fine", "well' or "great" we tend not to create ways in which to actually support feeling that way.
We choose ways to process our feelings with negative behaviors, such as watching hours of mindless TV, eating foods that clogs us up and slow us down both physically and mentally, taking socially accepted alcohol or drugs just to "take the edge off".
The challenge, discomfort then accomplishment experienced during a Heated or Hot Yoga class seems to mirror certain areas of life. When you choose to move through the challenge and discomfort with determination, grace and beauty, you come out on the other side with a sense of accomplishment. Securing a daily dose of accomplishment can do wonders for the soul.
Life can be uncertain and rough for every one of us. How you decide to rise and meet the challenges handed to you will determine the amount of joy, richness and beauty you experience. Choose something that you can practice daily, in order to help you best meet the challenge which each day brings. Whether it's walking, jogging, running, hiking, playing a sport, gardening, swimming or trying something you've never done before...choose something and go after it with passion.
Yes, you are going to have to push yourself and yes it can be inconvenient and yes it does take time, but the alternative of having life live you, rather than you living your best life is exceedingly undesirable.
It's not always been this way for me, I spent years choosing a route that was far less healthy and positive, I felt horrible about who I was and made a decision that the pain of taking care of myself far outweighs the pain of letting myself go. I had to leave old relationships, habits, thought processes and beliefs behind...and I could never have given myself a greater gift than that.
We can not choose when and where we will have epiphanies that hold the potential to completely change the trajectory of our lives. It may happen in the shower, while washing dishes, while mowing the lawn, during a road trip or while doing something that challenges you physically and requires you get out of your head. Being open to, listening and paying attention to insights given to us during these times can hold the keys to rising above challenge...riding on the top of rather than getting sucked into the depths of the unknown. Choosing to put yourself in situations where you are more likely to receive epiphanies or insights can relieve stress, increase confidence and allow you to tap into answers that you once thought to be out of your reach.
If you won't do it for yourself, know that your children are watching you. You don't have to be perfect, but working towards always becoming better is not only an awesome example to set but a stellar way to go through life.
You've got this!
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