In the summer, my friend Amanda decided to have a backyard yoga session, hosted by our friend Elyse, and I had no idea that my life was about to change for the better.
At this point, I was in the thick of wedding planning, and as you may or may not know, it gets SUPER stressful. I couldn't calm myself down sometimes because I would be overthinking the flowers, my dress, and making sure the day would go flawlessly.
Luckily, I got to experience yoga for the first time, and that helped me SO much. I realized it was better for me to take a break from planning, and to give myself some me time. This goes for planning anything that's overwhelming you... not just weddings. New job? New house? Mind just racing in general? ALWAYS take time for yourself. It will ALL get done!
I wanted to ask Elyse, yoga instructor extraordinaire, what really got her into yoga, especially since she is a newlywed:
"The thing about yoga is that it is more than a physical practice or a series of asanas. Yoga is a way of life. It is a way of expressing unconditional love, of removing the veil of ignorance to open our hearts and minds to the wonders of the world. Wedding planning, as you and I both know, can be super stressful. I found that taking five or ten minutes every morning to practice yoga through meditation and/or movement helped me feel centered and grounded throughout my day which in turn helped me communicate and focus in a peaceful manner. It is funny to reflect back on the moments of madness during the planning process and how many tears I shed because I just wanted it all to be perfect. I had to remind myself to breath so often. I would get so frustrated when people would say "but you're a yogi, just be calm" What! No way! Then I would check myself and take finally take a deep breath to find my center. I have come to realize that perfection truly is a figment of our imagination. I remember this one class the week before the wedding where I actually forgot I was in a yoga class because my mind was racing with the endless to-do list. After the wedding, I went back to the studio and was talking to my teacher and mentioned my monkey mind experience. So funny and so common. It is quite difficult to slow down in a society that says speed up.
I began my personal practice, I knew that I wanted to share this with the world. It took months for me to find a teacher training program that felt right. One day, I walked into JAI Albany (the day before they opened) and sitting at the front desk was the brightest and most beautiful human, Meg. It actually brings tears to my eyes to think about the moment we met. This is where I found God, or God found me. Studying at JAI opened the doors to a world of yoga I never knew existed. Imagine just having one foot in a pond and all of a sudden looking out into the distance to an endless sea. That is yoga. Yoga is love. It has a history so rich and so beautiful. Most of the Western world is unfamiliar with the roots of yoga, just like I was. The physical benefits are undeniable. The spiritual and emotional benefits are often times indescribable."
Again, this week's blog is NOT just for wedding planning. It's for anyone who is longing for a time out. I came across an old classmate of mine's (Kristina) Facebook post talking about how much she loves Yoga With Adriene videos on YouTube, and how much it has helped her. I got so excited to see Kristina talking about her videos, and I wanted to talk to her about her experience as well, being the awesome mom and busy bee that she is!
"I often joke that I am the conductor of the hot mess express. I am a mental tornado constantly thinking, criticizing (myself) and over analyzing EVERYTHING. To add to the cocktail of crazy, I suffer from depression, anxiety and poor body image. I was exhausted from constantly beating myself up over things and wanted to retrain my brain. I was searching YouTube one day when I found Yoga with Adriene, and it was love at first asana (aka sitting and breathing).
Yoga has helped me in so many ways I never expected; basically in every aspect of my life. I no longer have back pain, it's helped me move past panic attacks, it's encouraged me to love myself, to accept where I am at today and accept that I am not perfect... and that's ok...and hey, a little flexibility never hurt anyone ;) ."
I continue to practice yoga like Kristina does with Yoga With Adriene, and she is wonderful! She makes it fun, and relaxes you. I'm currently on Day 6 of the Revolution - 31 Days of Yoga Challenge. Try her out... I promise, you will love her, and you will love the way you feel both physically and emotionally/spiritually. She has all different videos too depending on what results you are looking for, or how much time you have. I bought our yoga mats at both Target & Marshall's... very cheap!
Now go get your yoga on... Namaste!
***If you have anything you would like to submit that helped you get through planning, or if you see something cool at an event, please shoot me an email on it! I would love to feature you! firstname.lastname@example.org