OK, I’ll be the one to say it … this past year has been one wild ride of ups and downs! Highs and lows! Personal and professional achievement and challenge! But, through it all I found that I had a very different response to this year’s stresses than those of years past. Instead of violent fits of tears and demolished pints of ice cream and the ever popular angst-filled question: “why me?” I found that I had my yoga mat. My personal, portable refuge.
You see it was on my very coveted black yoga mat that I had the unique privilege to study with amazing mentors here in North Carolina and in Massachusetts. These people have shared long-proven yoga philosophy, pose (asana and mudra), breath work and meditation practices through various courses of study. These classes have led to shedding and renewal. These practices have taught me patience, acceptance and gratitude, to name a few.
So this year, as I experienced change, I found my way to my mat and started a little routine I put together based on these teachings. Each time I emerged from this practice, I found that I was better able to keep focus on the goal beyond the momentary stress. Whether it was finding a way to manage illness or injury, career changes, balancing the shifting natures of relationships, or financial strain, there is always a place I want to end up. And, managing the stress of the moment through these practices and realizing that these moments will pass as will the pain and the harsh message of the event, I have experienced uninterrupted sleep, lower blood pressure, eliminated digestive disorder and found space in my life for the things and people I love. These experiences have become the focus of my life, leading me to my dreams, not keeping me from them.
We all experience stress, but how we manage stress shapes us physically and emotionally. And, we can choose (to a large extent) through how we manage stress how our bodies, minds and futures respond to and live with that stress.
It is with great joy that I will be leading a stress management workshop at Empower Personalized Fitness in Durham, NC. It is a 6-week series that will break down these stress management techniques in manageable and applicable pieces. With a FREE hour-long introduction (scheduled for January 17th from 12:30pm-1:30pm) those who share this experience with me will be exposed to some of the practices of pose, mudra, breath work and meditation. The following five weeks (which involve a charge) will explore each modality in more depth. You will leave the series with a new set of stress management tools and the ability to start your journey through stress to internal peace and focus.