Hello Yogis! I’d like to introduce to you Emily, my fellow teacher trainee and a huge inspiration to me. I’m honored to have her guest post in my absence. Enjoy, friends!
The biggest thing I learned from my yoga teacher is: it’s okay to just breathe. You don’t need to do anything else. You can just be in this world. You don’t have to strive for bigger and better. You can be you.
I have always pushed myself. I mean, c’mon, I had an eating disorder starting at the age of ten. I wasn’t overweight, and I was beautiful (just like each and every person is!), but I had to be the fairest one of all. Didn’t we hear that message somewhere as children? Don’t we STILL hear that message now as adults? “You have to challenge yourself.” I know I hear that in some yoga classes. True, you do in some areas. But what about those of us who are already doing that? I usually get the life coach pep talk when I tell someone I don’t think marathons are healthy for me and to some degree in our society. We focus so much on the physical aspect. The physical aspect of running a marathon makes you do what? Breathe. And lots of it!
My teacher, Silvia Mordini, taught me the yogic concept of the Sanskrit words Sthira and Sukham. Other synonyms for those words would be hard and soft, masculine and feminine, or my personal favorite as it relates to food, salt and sugar. I don’t know about you, but too much salt on food doesn’t taste good. The percentage of obese children in our country is ridiculously high. Hmm, yes, too much sugar. But I have an affinity for salt. French fries are my favorite food.
My yoga practice was too strong. It was harder for me to make myself go into Child’s Pose every time instead of Down Dog. I felt like I wasn’t doing something right if I wasn’t pushing myself. But then I started to let go of the control, and just started having fun. If I didn’t feel like doing a pose, I wouldn’t do it. If I felt like moving my arms or legs while everyone else was in a rigid pose, I would. The most important thing was, I started smiling.
You can actually lose weight just by doing breathing exercises. Truth. The poses, or asanas, are one part of the eight limbs of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Yes, I think they are important. I do around ten minutes a day of various postures that I feel my body needs. It’s my creative coffee for the morning since I can’t have the real thing due to my adrenal disorder I’ve developed from trying to run the marathon of our societal race. I may not be as super buff or skinny like I used to, but more people tell me how great I look now than ever before.
Maybe I’ll need to push myself more in the future, but first I must listen to my body, and it tells me more love, more sukham, more sugar.
I’ll have another scoop, please.
You can find Emily at www.nilesreporting.com and soon she’ll be introducing her writings on YogaRewire.com, coming soon!