YOGA FOR SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING

It’s tough these days to meet someone who doesn’t know anything about yoga. And yet it is most-often perceived as an ambitious endeavor where one contorts oneself into impossible shapes. Yes, there are many yoga folks (called “yogis”) that embrace these very challenging and ” attention receiving” And yes, the poses are impressive. Yet the type of yoga I am drawn to and what I share at Westminster Presbyterian Church is a very different type of experience.

I guess one might call it “Yoga for the Rest of Us”

What holds my attention, in this slower and less bendy style of yoga, is the way it challenges me in very different ways.

First and foremost, I am constantly paying careful attention to my breath. Yes of course our body does breathe on its own. But with this type of yoga the breath becomes central to my yoga practice. So, when I move in ways that challenge me, I check in with my breath to see how I am doing. It becomes my main tool in my “tool kit” as I move through a yoga practice. This is an on- going process throughout my sessions. In the classes I teach, I share with my students on how to engage in this way. Second, when connecting with my breath I also pay closer attention to my overall well-being. As we know, a full life means lots of opportunities for excitement and of course an abundance of disappointments and hurdles. When I slow down and pay attention, I harness the ability to calm, to soothe, to surrender and to accept. On a physical level, I am engaging with my parasympathetic nervous system which by its nature is powerfully calms and soothes. Additionally, I am also accessing my “inner-caretaker.”

For me this is about my spiritual well-being. I am allowing myself to check in and remember what is most important to me and my growth. And endeavor to meet it with deep kindness and of course, self-love.

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