Yoga to steady the mind, strengthen the body and keep the heart soft

I have truly loved this practice of yoga over the past few years because I feel like my life has changed. Big statement, I know. From the ability to inhale deeply when I was regularly out of breath to being able to have the mental strength to complete running 10km on my own over the weekend and regularly run 5km in the lead up to 10km. I did not have the mental will or the know how to do this 10 years ago. For all the marathon runners, this may not seem like a big deal to you! Lol. But, for your girl here that likes short sprints, it’s huge.

I feel like I flirted with yoga in my 20s, casual relationship and in and out of class, and only after I turned 30 that I embraced this practice mainly because of depression and anxiety that crept up.

This practice has helped me to physically find my breath, emotionally settle and mentally gain clarity. Physically, I have been able to incorporate more movement into my body.

When I first started going to classes in about 2014/15 at a local studio, I was sad and regularly anxious. Slowly, slowly, the guided meditations from my teachers and breathing exercises helped me to breathe and reset. A weekly practice turned into twice a week, into three times a week and helped me to develop physically and also confidence in my body. I was setting boundaries and going beyond the boundaries I thought I was capable of and started to develop trust in myself physically, emotionally and mentally with these amazing skills that seem so basic, yet are rarely taught.

So, what I will say to new and experienced students is this, yoga has this terrific ability to provide you with practical skills. Through a regular practice, you will get to know yourself, how to consciously calm your mind, your body, how to build strength, how to breathe deeply, help to know your boundaries and how you move on the mat. This has the potential to translate off the mat into your daily life as your energy gradually shifts and you carry this sense of calm that you have been cultivating. Regardless of what life throws at you. Creating physical and emotional strength – yes….and with a loving heart. Perhaps the most important of all…

One of my teachers gave this terrific analogy of how yoga can help. Life is always going to happen and it can sometimes feel like you are sitting at one end of a seesaw. Going up on a whim when the highs are oh so high, and feeling the depth of the fall when the seat swings in the other direction and you hit the ground with an abrupt thud. You can either sit on the end of the seesaw, or you can sit in the middle part of the seesaw and remain somewhat steady. Yoga has helped to shift from from the seesaw of emotions to the middle part. I truly hope it helps you too, wherever you may be on your yoga journey.

Roxy xo

Photo by René Molenkamp on Unsplash

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