My interest in yoga was sparked last summer, when my friend Nora, during her visit to Bristol, convinced me to give it one more shot. I had gone to a couple of classes at the gym before, & it never seemed relaxing or invigorating to me - just awkward & uncomfortable. But, for whatever reason, this time it clicked. Hard. I felt a craving for it all the time, & I tried to take every opportunity to go to class.
I won't say that I've been diligent. Yoga classes can be pricey, especially since I'm also a member of a fitness gym. I now own a mat (two, in fact), & I've tried a few videos & podcasts on my own. But after reading (listening to, actually) Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert during the holidays, I have an even greater understanding & love for the teachings & practice of yoga.
Yoga makes me feel so good: I feel strong & powerful while also feeling relaxed & open. This sentence in the magazine also really gets to me: "Yoga teaches us that to cultivate a calm mind, we must find the balance between sthira (steadiness) and sukha (ease)." This is so true, in asana (poses) and also in daily life. Mindfulness of this fact, & of what's happening in my mind & in my body, has helped me to start on the long path to balance.
My New Year's Resolution for 2011, then, is to concentrate on my soul. And I think that cultivating my yoga practice is a great first step.
As I sit with my glass of Grand Cru Rodenbach Ale (a delicious recommendation by the wine/beer buyer at work) & the February 2011 issue of Yoga Journal, I look over a page of information about a free 21-day yoga challenge, with a website address. The website explains that those who register their e-mail address will receive a tip, meditation, or video each day for twenty-one days, along with the ability to write about their experiences in a forum. I thought, Why not?? So, I'm registered. I'm really excited about this, & I hope some of you will join me. I'll report back often, & I'd love to discuss it with anyone else participating.
Have a lovely weekend!