My family is obsessed with Star Wars. Yes, my son is eleven years old, but even without him, I have always been a sucker for an “underdog fighting for the freedom of the galaxy story.” So when the latest Star Wars film, Rogue One, came to theaters, we made sure we were there on opening night. Our expectations were high, but they were surpassed. And as with most things, I found a way to relate this experience to my yoga practice.
I enjoy snorkeling, but it also scares me. The unexpected cold when my body hits the ocean for the first time, the eerie underwater environment and the challenge of breathing through a snorkel combine to make the experience stressful. I often start off in a bit of a panic, with rapid breathing, a pounding heart, and my mind racing. I eventually calm down and take in the sights, but it can be exhausting.
On my most recent trip to the Caribbean, I decided to try a new approach — yoga breathing. It worked famously!
Things don’t often end well. Whether it is a relationship, a job, a club membership — whatever it is — the ending is often the toughest part. It can be emotional, fraught with disappointment, anger or all of the above. The end is often something we prefer to avoid or to rush through, getting it over with and moving forward to the start of something new.
But, what about in a yoga posture? The end is often the most important part. It is at the end of the posture where you break new ground, push your edge, and grow. And the exit is equally important — holding the form firmly during the exit so that no injury occurs. Through yoga, maybe we can learn to make a proper exit elsewhere in life.
There is nothing like practicing yoga at Solstice in Times Square. Bodies are packed together, each person with his or her own brightly colored mat right on the street. Every race, religion, body type, and walk of life is represented. Spectators line the designated yoga area taking pictures with astonished looks on their faces. Tourists wave and cheer from passing tour buses. Horns are honking. Taxi drivers are yelling. Neon signs flash with light and movement. It is mayhem, yet the practice is calm — an island of stillness in an ocean of clamor and noise.
It is what yoga is all about.
I recently wrote a post about yoga on my Living With Hearing Loss blog that I wanted to share with my Hot Off The Mat readers. I find yoga inspiring in part because it is accessible to people of all abilities, body types and mental states. Yoga has changed my life for the better. I hope it has for you as well.
Here is the post:
I love yoga! Not only is it fun, but I find the health benefits to be extraordinary. My yoga practice saved me from real injury during a fall last year, and I think that it, combined with meditatio…