Welcome to Yinspired Yoga!
I Love Yoga!
Yoga is wonderful. It’s been a foundation in my life for 20 years, with me through happy, sad, hard, fun, and silly.
I love the full spectrum of yoga classes, from hot and sweaty classes to still and meditative. Any yoga is wonderful yoga. I have practiced at hundreds of studios, gyms, and retreat centers across the globe and with countless teachers. All yoga is fabulous, and how genius that we can practice anytime, anywhere, simply by breathing intentionally.
Yoga is my barometer for understanding unconscious patterns. For example, I’ve found I tend to choose hot vinyasa classes when things are a bit stressful. And, I choose restorative classes when life feels in flow. Similarly, I tend to seek out certain teachers for certain things: I choose Bethany when I need face a certain truth. Or, perhaps I’ll wonder what I’m avoiding if I haven’t taken her class in a while.
Like many aspects of life, my yoga practice has evolved since having children. For the first time, I truly began a home practice, fitting in shorter sequences in my bedroom, often during naptime. Practicing outside the home became a luxury, and because it was hard to replicate, I was drawn to the hot/sweaty power classes outside the home. My home practice tended toward restorative and “sanity saving.”
As time drew on, I deepened relationships with old friends and made new friends, most who reached mid- or high-level success in their careers, were about a decade into marriage, and were in early stages of parenting or trying to start the parenting journey. There was much to celebrate, yet also challenges related to living with the choices we’d made in our 20s. Successful career = lots of demands. Blessed with children = little sleep. Nonprofit career = money is tight. Etc. Etc.
It seems everyone I speak with feels busy and stressed, regardless of the “good” flowing in their lives. And this includes every generation! Even my mom and her friends – baby boomers enjoying retirement in a place she and my dad call “their paradise” – they feel stressed by one thing or another. And we all read the news about stresses teens face with social media and whatnot. I am far from perfect, and believe me, I have had my share of struggle (steer clear of third baby hormones!), but I did feel I had a secret retreat for tough times: my yoga.
Shifting the Paradigm
Most of my friends and family do not practice yoga regularly or at all. “I’m not really a yoga person.” “I’m not twisty and bendy.” “I don't’ have time.” “I want a weight loss solution.” I get it. And here’s what I believe: when yoga is in an “exercise” category, it will lose out pretty much every time.
My advice: Think of yoga (or, at least Yinspired Yoga) not as exercise but as a wellness ritual. Similar to brushing teeth, listening to music, or making a cup of tea. It warms the soul, soothes the spirit and relaxes the body. Any effort has little to do with physicality, and more to do with mentality. It cultivates essence of calm amidst the crazy.
What About Meditation?
In short, meditation is hard. I have tried to meditate, or sit in stillness, on and off with varying (translate: low) success. My best results – aka, my mind is most still – during a relaxing, quiet yoga practice. And my guess is it will be similar for you. Yinspired Yoga as a baby step toward achieving the Balance, Perspective, and Peace we so often hear about as benefits of meditation.