Stress is part of life! We can’t get away from it. However, learning to reduce its undesirable effects is accessible, and essential to our overall well-being. By consciously controlling the rhythm of our breath, we alter our state of mind and become more focused, calm, and coherent. The most important aspect of yoga, in my opinion, is the conscious control of our breathing which we do when we perform specific yogic breaths, also known as Pranayamas. By taking smooth, rhythmic breaths, we can transform a chaotic mind into a peaceful one.
Practicing yoga when you own a couple of cats can be a tricky situation. Unless I am conducting a private yoga session with a client, my cats, Geisha and Tigger, have access to my yoga space. When one of them decides to join me on the mat, I simply slow down, transitioning from one posture to the next, hoping that I won't inadvertently step on a paw, especially when I step back in Downward Dog! I
Allowing ourselves to pause, even for a brief moment, can be challenging and yet, so rewarding. Restorative Yoga offers a passive way to recharge our batteries, to unplug. It allows us to stop "doing" and simply start "being". The challenge is that those who have trouble slowing down and sitting still could benefit the most from restorative yoga. I know as I am one of them!
This morning, braving the strong north-west winds, I headed to the lake for my daily walk. The sun was gloriously warm on my face, as I sat on a log to admire the view. At that point, all I had in front of me was the vastness of Lake Ontario. It was so peaceful that I decided to close my eyes and meditate. After a few minutes, I realized that, even though my intent was to clear my mind, I was thinking of my afternoon projects and everything I needed to accomplish before the weekend.
Fast track to December 31st, 2017... What does your year look like? What have you accomplished in 2017 that makes it the best year ever professionally and personally? If you find yourself frequently saying "I don't have time" for things that truly matter to you, what follows may be helpful (and an eye opener!)