I am a person who has an extremely hard time just “shutting it off”. My brain is always going. Even in church, instead of listening, I am thinking of my grocery list or bills that need to be paid or some other not so pressing matter. Ultimately my son or daughter will lean into me and my attention is brought back to where it should be but I can’t help drifting. It is me, it has how I have always been. People, especially my husband, often tell me that I think too much. Trust me, I do, and I know that I do. I am a consummate worrier. I worry about the big and the small and even the unimportant.
It has taken me YEARS! Really, I’ve been around over three decades and I can say that I finally have some sort of antidote to my hamster wheel of a brain. As silly as this sounds, yoga works for me. I may not mentally light my vertebrae from the bottom to the top of my head as the yoga instructor suggests but I am able to let everything go (almost). Mostly, I focus solely on the pose. Sometimes I can literally clear my mind, meditation or prayer of sorts. In yoga I am not worrying about getting orders out or if I look fat in my yoga pants or what to make for dinner. I focus on the moment. I focus on my Chaturanga and how thankful I am that I can hold a plank. I focus on expressing gratitude for the many blessings in my life.
I am typically a weights and running (well, really, my run is a slow jog) kind of girl but have found that adding yoga to my routine has helped me to improve my overall flexibility and core strength which has in turn helped me to improve my other workout endeavors. Most of my yoga experience has been with Vinyasa and Yin. Both are fabulous but so different. Vinyasa is a flowing yoga while in yin you hold the poses much longer. I recommend trying both types if possible and finding what fits you. Then you can venture to things like Bikram (hot yoga) and Kundalini (I used to call it “dirty” yoga but really it focuses much more on the meditative aspect of yoga).
Yoga has been such a great help and such a life changer that I have introduced my kids to it. While their yoga is more fun they still have better balance than most three and five year olds have. They may break into a “half moon” or “down dog” in the middle of church but if it weren’t for them bringing my attention to them, I would still be thinking of my grocery list rather than concentrating on where my thoughts really should be.
If you haven't already, I hope that you'll add yoga to your routine and may it enrich your life as much as it has mine!
P.S. I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences regarding yoga! Please share!