Yoga brings a sense of calm and confidence that I did not have prior to practicing. I started practicing yoga over ten years ago with a friend as a fun girls’ night. Yoga gave me time to unplug from my hectic, stress filled life. It calmed my mind for two hours a week. I continued what I call “dabbling” in yoga for a few years while living in Delaware, but fell away from it when I went through my divorce. I became a runner instead. The yoga mat was too quiet for my always going mind at that time.
Eventually, I moved to New York City and found yoga again. Living around the corner from an amazing studio, I attended five weekly classes and found “me” again on the mat. I no longer needed to run to clear my mind. Yoga gave me the confidence a girl in New York City needs to survive. Things were coming together, moving forward and I could not be happier. Then a phone call came, ending all future plans that were in the works. I did not touch a yoga mat for over a month. I went from five classes a week to zero classes. The quiet, yet again, was too much for me to handle.
I ran the East River every day, sometimes twice a day. On one of those runs, I kept hearing my yoga instructor’s voice. She would always remind the class to be kind to ourselves and be honest in the present moment. To me, honesty is key. Hearing her voice while running, I realized that I needed to live my life. For me to be confident in my actions, I needed to be honest with myself. I returned to yoga and signed up for teacher training that started that same week.
Yoga brings clarity to my life and not sharing this practice would be selfish. Whether you are a beginner or looking to deepen your practice, I will always encourage greatness. While on the mat, instructors encourage the student to try new poses and play a little. Typically, the student’s immediate reaction is “No way, I cannot do that!” But then, with positive encouragement, the student tries this new pose and surprisingly can do it. This technique of encouragement builds confidence that can be applied to life off the mat. The same instructor that influenced my ah-ha moment, always states “You need to look up to go up.” This resonates into my daily life. When you look up and look forward, the possibilities are endless. Be confident, be honest, build integrity.