Thursday, April 14, 2011

Finding Yoga--Part Two


   In my attempt to integrate the Yogi lifestyle with my chaotic, over-stressed current lifestyle I have come to find that there are many challenges and constant growth involved.  It’s hard to find the time to get in a good yoga routine everyday, not to mention finding time to meditate.  I find myself constantly searching for time, not always when it comes to yoga, but in general.  My yoga practice is usually hit the hardest by this lack of time.  So, I have made a point to become more disciplined.  I have learned that flowing through life freely is not always the idea situation and though I grasp to routine a little too tightly, I think it is necessary to have a schedule in place to at least follow.  And that is what I have done.  I still find myself having difficulty with a morning routine, but it’s a work in process that I am beginning to appreciate more and more as time goes on.
            Now that I have established (in my head at least) a time schedule, I find that my morning sequence is ever growing.  I feel that I continuously add more poses, harder poses, more breathing.  I read a blog post at the other day (Beginners Mind) on the feeling that yoga has on a beginner.  I agreed with the author 100%.  You never really ever stop being a beginner.  It’s an ever changing, growing business of sorts.  Slowly incorporating the ways of yoga in my life has made me look through a different set of eyes.  I have found that I make better decisions more often because in my mind I am becoming more of my inner self and less of a person who is made up of those things important to those around me.  On the days that I do even just a quick and gentle sequence, I notice that I am less anxious for the day to be over, I make better food decisions (more fruits and veggies, even adding breakfast everyday), I even notice that my body aches less and my mind is not as busy.  I have also cut down on my soda intake (can’t say the same for coffee, as I have a slight addiction to it) but in return I have increased my water intake, and notice more often then not I choose tea over coffee.
            Yoga, for me has become a lifestyle, not just an exercise.  It affects everything in my life.  I feel more concerned about my environment, my space, and my well being now that I have introduced yoga into my life.  Hannah and I are growing a vegetable garden so that we can grow and eat our own vegetables that we worked hard to create.  I have started using more reusable containers and bags more often.  I buy fresher groceries and make more from scratch then buying and making foods filled with preservatives.  I notice too that even when I feel stress coming on I take a second and just breathe.  I don’t automatically get an attitude or upset, I focus on my breath and then readdress the subject from a new perspective.

            There are days, at least for me, when I can’t wait to get on the mat.  Days like today, where everything goes wrong and everything seems tense.  When I get home I just can’t wait to slide into Down-ward dog or cobra.  I actually crave these things on days when my mind continuously is saying all the things I wish I could say out loud.  These are the days when the only thing that seems to calm me down is some alone time with my yoga mat.  Before yoga, I would just take on a grumpy attitude and turn inward and not talk to anybody about anything.  Now, I blow it all out, onto my mat, and I feel relaxed and calm afterward.

 I can honestly say that Yoga is changing my life, every part of it.  It’s an exciting adventure and I can’t wait to see what comes next!