In 1999, I attended my first yoga class at the Andersen Consulting fitness center in Northbrook, Illinois. My co-worker, Carolina, invited me to go with her. We were both consultants for Andersen and working diligently on technology solutions for our clients. Carolina told me “Yoga is about connecting your body, mind & spirit through a series of poses and meditation. Plus its a great way to relax and de-stress.” I was in the first few years of my career and the stress of my job was starting to take a toll on me physically, emotionally and mentally.” After a few classes I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to go to my next class.
Yoga is part of my extreme self-care practice. It truly is a gift I give myself every time I practice. In the early years of my practice I thought it was all about burning calories and toning my body. Believe me there is plenty of that, especially when the heat lamps are on in winter or it’s a hot humid Kansas City summer night. It feels so good to sweat out all my toxins. At first I was all about the physical benefits of yoga.
Now that I’ve memorized the primary Astranga series and started practicing MySore (self-guided practice) it’s more about the emotional, mental and spiritual benefits. The physical ones don’t go away but I’m more mindful of connecting with my breath, practicing yoga both on and off the mat which includes:
Starting my day with an Intention & checking in on my Intention during the day
Expressing gratitude and appreciation
Being open to receive Abundance and Prosperity
Nurturing myself and others
Attracting what I really want out of my life
Through yoga I’ve also learned the difference between prayer and meditation. Prayer is when you ask God for something. Meditation is when you LISTEN.
Sitting still and clearing my mind of the busy chatter is so powerful. Meditation allows me to be more creative and more authentic.
When I first started practicing I thought “Great there is a 5 minute nap at the end.” As I’ve learned meditation can be the hardest and most challenging pose. Laying still, letting my body surrender and clearing my mind can be very difficult.
When I really LISTEN there are things that come up that I do not want to hear. Parts of myself that had been buried by the endless mind chatter. Meditation helps me clear out the emotional and mental clutter.
Though my yoga practice I had the courage to leave my comfortable corporate job at Sprint and really S-T-R-E-T-C-H myself and grow my life coaching practice. I’m so grateful my amazing teachers and friends who continue to support me on my journey both on and off the mat.
What I want for each of you is incorporate ways to reduce your physical stress and let go of the emotional and mental stress in your life. Yoga is a wonderful way to do this.
If you are interested in getting started Ask Me.
If you are already practicing yoga I encourage you to continue to grow in your yoga practice. If you are practicing once a week, increase it to a few times a week.
Most importantly set an intention before you start each day and check in with your intention. Honor it. Honor yourself.
Career, Life & Yoga Coach