Letter of the Day: Y
Y is for Yoga!
This is Roseanne my yoga instructor.
She is a beautiful little sprite of a person with a generous and creative spirit.
I believe that Roseanne truly cares about all her students, here at the Y yoga studio and her dance studio, and probably everywhere she goes including her work. (BTW, she drove a UPS truck for several years, but has since retired from that job.)
I have a new attitude of gratitude and I’m attributing much of that to yoga. It is an amazing practice. Not only is it a good workout for the body, but also it increases concentration and body image. Yes, it helps you love your body no matter what shape it’s in. Roseanne gives us possitive messages as she’s teaching. She says, “Listen to your body. Never force anything. Respect your body and its limitations.”
As we’re warming up, she has us in a foreward fold and tells us, “Let all your worries and cares fall out of your head and into the earth. Leave them there for this hour. For one hour, you just need to be. We are in a culture that praises us for what we do, but here we just need to be.” Isn’t that beautiful? Today, I felt those worries and cares falling out and going into the earth. I thought of them as being planted and left to grow or become what they need to be, maybe even the fertilizer. I didn’t need to carry them around anymore.
I asked Roseanne why so many people seemed to be afraid to try yoga. She believes it comes from two sources. One is that some people who have a strong Christian connection think that yoga is about teaching Buddism or Eastern religion. That is incorrect. Of course, every teacher and experience is unique, but Roseanne says, “You are here to water your own spiritual garden.” Again, isn’t that lovely? So reassuring. Honoring who you are and your own beliefs. I find comfort in that image. The second reason people are afraid to come is ego. Yes, folks, ego is one of our biggest barriers. That’s why we adults are afraid of trying anything new. We don’t want to be the beginner in a class. We want to come in already knowing what to do and having the skill. But, unless we can humble ourselves to be the kindergartner in the room, we will never gain new skills. Ego was my biggest barrier. Roseanne says, “You don’t need to be afraid to fall off your pony.” She gives us examples of beginner level to advanced. Once I let go of my ego and accepted the chance of “falling off my pony,” I swung my arms back in a spider-type pose and flipped on my arms in a back bend. I was exhilirated. Later, we started a pose by lying on our backs. I finally got my legs up over my head and experienced that release. I pulled out of it with a huge smile on my face. Yes, I needed to strengthen my core, but more than that I needed to build my confidence and not be afraid of falling. It worked.
As we’re lying on our backs in a cool down, Roseanne tells us to shut our eyes. She says, “Be aware of your breathing. Feel whatever you’re feeling without judgement. If you have a tense place, go there with your breathing.” She plays soothing, beautiful music, and I lie there listening, breathing, visualizing my garden, the top of a mountain, wherever I need to go in that moment. The song she played this week is called Jetaime, sung in both French and English. It sounded like a lullaby to me.
Yoga is one of those exercises that truly strengthens your body, mind, and spirit. Thank you, Roseanne!
Journaling Prompt: Have you ever tried yoga? What have you accomplished that boosted your confidence and helped you on your physical and spiritual journey?