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?
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Yes! I tried yoga, many years ago now in what seems like another life. Thank you for the details of your yoga experience, Mary, which ring very true to my own memories of what I loved about it. I was one of those who was too afraid of falling off the pony and yet reaped some of the benefits you mention in spite of myself. I should try it again!
So much of what I’ve learned about myself and about life in general I’ve learned from yoga.
I haven’t tried Yoga, but this post makes me want to. Even your writing, explaining Roseanne’s philosophies, and the moves and thoughts you practice, had me unwind and relax with the reading.
I have been practicing yoga for almost 3 years now, and have struggled at times wondering if it was okay to practice as a Christian. I’ve decided it is fine and your post helped clarify that for me. 🙂 Thanks.
I have tried Yoga and love it, but unfortunately my body can’t handle it any more. Thank you so much for your comment and visit to my blog. You have a new follower.
I, also, wrote about yoga today for my Y word. It truly is about everyone’s process in the practice.
Mary, I haven’t, but thanks for sharing your experience of it with me. Roseanne sounds like a delightful woman. 🙂
Have a super weekend! I’m dreaming of our time in TRF, which isn’t far off now! Are you ready? (I think I will be when the time comes…)
Actually that is kind of a funny story. I was working in a drug court as a counselor. I helped with a female group and they did Yoga. SO i was the only male in the group doing Yoga it was interesting but still relaxing.
I haven’t tried Yoga, but you almost make me want to. Your instructor sounds like a beautiful person. 🙂
Have a great weekend, Mary.
The teachings of yoga are beautiful, as is your new “attitude of gratitude.” Thanks for the uplifting words.
Yoga and I haven’t gotten along well the few times I’ve tried, but mindfulness meditation and I have started becoming friends.
Roseanne seems like a most beautiful spirit. Inside and out. Mary, you have featured some AWESOME folks this month. I have so enjoyed getting to know them.
I haven’t tried yoga, but I might now, that’s for sure. 🙂
You know so many inspirational people 🙂
Wagging Tales – Blog for Writers
Okay, now I wanna try yoga. Thanks for making it sound fun!
I have a yoga dvd that I love to do, but making the time to do it is often my challenge.
When I was going through chemo treatment there was a yoga instructor who offered yoga for cancer patients and their families. It was an important part of my healing. Also, glad that you addressed spirituality with yoga, I struggled with that issue at first…but not anymore 🙂
This is wonderful. It’s true we are so afraid of being the beginner at something as grown ups. I’m glad Yoga has become a regular part of my life. My pets are very fond of my home practice. They always want to be next to me when I’m doing spinal twist.
Mary, you are so sweet. You see the shiny side on everything and everyone. You have the capacity to learn and get inspired by the best from the people that surround you. And I’m sure you attract that type of people: good souls!
Yoga is awesome!