It was a normal, busy morning on a normal, busy day.
Knowing that I was heading into another busy week, I’d scheduled a little time to practice. So, I grabbed my yoga mat and headed over to the studio. Just getting there was a whole to-do list, kids, work, email, voicemail, errands, appointments and everything else that goes into running a household. By the time I laid out my mat, I was deep in the “get it done” state of mind.
And that’s where the yoga came in… By the time the teacher had guided us through some basic warmups and breathing, I began to feel the shift — physically, energetically and mentally.
That’s what yoga does, whether it’s vinyasa, yin, gentle or even seated meditation, all of them combine three basic elements: Movement, Breath and Focus. Almost any activity will give us parts of that equation, but yoga does an exceptional job of combining them into one bundle. The result is a body that feels free to move and flow, a smooth, regular breathing pattern to oxygenate our body and brain, and a present moment state of mind that comes from the awareness of what is happening here and now. No matter what your yoga practice looks like or how fit or flexible you are, that three-part setup creates a noticeable change in our well-being.
Our bodies are designed to move in literally countless ways. Our breath nourishes our inner systems and guides the way our nervous system responds to stimuli. Our brains are designed to find solutions to the challenges of daily life. Yoga brings those three aspects together seamlessly. And that’s no accident. Yoga developed as a meditative system all those thousands of years ago to meet the exact same human needs we have today — to be present, to feel alive in our bodies and to manage stress.
As I walked home after class that morning, I could feel a bounce in my step, spaciousness in my lungs and clarity in my thoughts, all of which was exactly what I needed to step into another busy day in another busy week in my normal, busy life.