It seems to happen every year about this time. Around our family’s biggest birthday month, the calendar fills to overflowing albeit all with good things. The end of the school year is fast approaching and the season is changing from spring to summer. That means three things: busy, change and heat. Not an easy combination.
One of my clients has asked me to write about being a beginner in yoga (I’ll post more on that later) and this is one of the reasons I recommend yoga: it is a great tool to deal with life’s inevitable swings. Yoga helps keep me grounded during wacky times and when practiced from a breath and core focus, leaves me feeling strong in my center and more empowered to take on challenges without taking on too much (super easy to do). That doesn’t mean I don’t feel the stress or that I am “above it all” or that I’m cured. It just means that this self-care tool works for me if I practice regularly.
As the kids schedule starts to blow up, my private teaching practice (and my husband’s work) are filled and flowing, and I begin to have to really choose to recommit to my disciplines of self-care. I’ve learned that I need to take time to pray, belly breathe, clean out, get more organized and stay flexible – especially about last minute teacher gift plans, summer camps….and belly breathe some more. Getting ready for a big transition like having a child graduate, marking the loss of a loved one, or just preparing for summer’s juggling act is enough to make this yoga teacher need her own yoga big time! No surprise that during this time of outward focus, I start to feel a bit uninspired when it comes to my own yoga practice and I begin to need a recharge.
Rededication to my own personal yoga came last night in the form of a friend’s awesome Hoop Dance Birthday party. The class was fun and hilarious with lots of laughter yoga as we tried to lift ourselves onto hanging hoops, balance and do poses like “amazon”. Most importantly, the Hoop movements woke up core muscles and deep belly breath; two of the aspects of my yoga practice that leave me feeling the most energized, inspired and rejuvenated (yay!). I’m not sure if I’ll be hanging a hoop in my yoga therapy office right away but I definitely felt more motivated to roll out my mat this morning (bigger yahoo!).
One of my fave teachers, Sadie Nardini calls the deep breathing into the core “belly bonfire breath” as this type of breathing wakes up the deep core muscles and tones and reinvigorates the organs – good way to move out what we don’t need and reduce the baggage of stress. Belly breathing warms you on the inside and keeps you feeling cooler in general. A student of mine claims that her elimination has never been better. That is healing transformation from the inside out! Hanging off a dangling hoop, I couldn’t help but relax as I focused on form and breath and the smiles and giggles coming from me and all the gals beside me.
It was a strong combination of two of the strongest healers I know: community and yoga:) I am so grateful and can’t wait to try it again. Pics to come. Hope this post inspires you to rededicate to your practice and your belly breathing! Have fun today and find a way to recharge with your favorite tune-in tool!