Have you ever felt yourself wearing your busyness as your badge of honor? Feeling like your life is packed full and feeling like you have no control over your schedule? Maybe it’s different for you. Maybe it’s that you are feeling stuck, sad, or just in a rut even though you keep telling yourself that your life is fine. You’d even say it is great, but why doesn’t it feel great when you have those three seconds of quiet? Or is there ever even enough time to contemplate these questions?
Friends, my life had me circling these questions for a long time, and my default language had always been to just work harder. Be better. Do more. And then thankfully my life came to a screeching halt when we relocated out of state, far away from the commitments I felt so entangled by. All of my being more, being better, and stressing out drove right out of my driveway in two moving trucks and our packed family cars. As all of the strings broke, it felt like things went from held together by a thread to shattered into pieces on the ground...you know the commitments that were tying me down? Well it appeared that they were the same strings holding all of the pieces in place. When they broke, it wasn’t slow and steady. It was as abrupt as the slamming door of the moving truck right before it drove away with every creature comfort we owned. I literally felt dumped out and empty, like all of the pieces had fallen out of place, and I wasn’t sure how to put things back together better this time.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Be careful what you pray for?” Well, I had craved and prayed for time for so long...time to be with my girls, really BE with them. More time with Johnny. Time for walks on the beach. Time to read. Time to nest in my home and create more beauty and peace in my life, and yet when the ties were severed and I was set free from the tight schedule that seemed like it owned my time, I felt anything but freedom from all of the pieces. Instead, all of the things I’d stuffed down under my duty, hard work, and busyness were waiting for me once I’d unpacked and gotten the girls in school. Those pieces weren’t going to let me ignore them or stuff them down this time.
One of the ways I wanted to connect to my new community was to find a yoga studio. What I found instead was a yoga therapy practitioner. I didn’t even really know what that meant except that I knew I LOVED yoga and I’d also loved my counseling sessions in the past, so yoga therapy sounded like the perfect fit for me at that time...meaningful dialog paired with yoga. Plus I loved Lisa from the moment I met her, so I knew time with her would be time well spent!
Yoga’s therapeutic effects are well studied and as science advances, especially the field of neuroscience, more and more data yields evidence to confirm to what yogis have been claiming all along. Mindful movement, meditation, breath, and tuning our minds and bodies into the present moment are all connected to lives better lived. I could list the many mental and physical health benefits of yoga therapy, but sometimes the best evidence is our own experience.
What I found through my own experience was that the more I learned to be still and pay attention to what was going on under the surface, the more I tended to those places in myself that needed healing. In turn, more joy emerged. I think that previously, in the back of my mind, I thought being mindful equated to moving slowly all of the time;
I didn’t want to feel lazy or unproductive or slow. I remember when I was learning to ride my bike, and my dad said, it was easier to just peddle faster than it was to be too careful because going slow almost ensures you’ll fall over on a bike. What I didn’t realize is that the bike philosophy isn’t a universal principle. I knew that I needed to stop pedaling faster if I was going to figure out how to piece things together differently this time.
I wanted to feel more at peace in my days, whether at work or at home. I also desired to find some balance instead of bullying myself into either working so hard I was miserable or calling myself lazy. Surely there was somewhere I could land in between those two extremes. I also wanted to feel more empowered to make wise decisions for my family and myself regarding our time together. I wanted to feel connected to God and the divine wisdom that I’d felt connected to in other seasons of my life.
As I continued the practices I learned in my yoga sessions with Lisa, I found I had a renewed perspective, and my renewed perspective was creating peace inside of me. I learned how to slow down enough to listen to my body and make wiser decisions about how I spent my time. (Pretty soon I’ll write about the power of our body’s communication...stay tuned.) Instead of feeling pushed and pulled by the demands of my schedule, I started feeling more ease, even in the busy times. The beauty of yoga therapy is that the lessons and the effects of sessions from five years ago are still helping me. I made deep meaningful connections in my life that are still benefiting me today. All of the fragmented pieces didn’t magically come together, but my new feeling of deep abiding peace made me see it all differently. Yoga therapy has been the most powerful touchstone for me when I need to recalibrate my life.
It’s really no surprise that I decided to pursue this path of becoming a yoga therapist. As a former teacher and corporate trainer, I have always had a desire to coach or teach. Being a yoga therapist is the best blend of my love for teaching and simply being present. Instead of me showing up and giving you all of the answers, I get to help you discover your own answers, and it’s such an amazing experience to witness.
A Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy session is a one-on-one process lasting one to one and a half hours. Through assisted yoga postures, hands on and hands off postures and exercises, and a non-directive verbal process, you will be guided to experience yourself more fully in mind and body. Using focused awareness, letting go into the moment, and breathing, this connection is held and explored, fostering release, personal growth and healing.
I hope that I can share this practice with you soon, so that you can discover your own evidence about the benefits of connecting with your body, soul and mind!