5 reasons we all need yoga right now
life in 2017… it’s interesting, right? the world is a really, really crazy place right now.
there’s lots of change happening and many of us are getting caught up in the moment of everything… we keep scrolling through the comments of those truly awful facebook posts [i’ve literally lost all faith in humanity doing this]… we’re cutting people out of our lives when their opinion doesn’t align with our own… sometimes, we’re just curling up into a ball, crying our eyes out, and telling ourselves that we should just give. the eff. up. that it’s all a waste of time and we have no control over where anything is going.
it’s easy to forget the big picture. it’s easy to feel hopeless. it’s so easy to be afraid of what’s ahead. but does feeling this way help us rise above the bullsh*t and continue to move forward, both on a personal and societal level?
i’m guilty of feeling all of the things i outlined above. i go through periods where i feel paralyzed by my anxiety… moments where giving up seems like the best option, because why fight a losing battle, ya know? and this applies to my feelings on my personal goals, my professional goals, and where i wish society would go as a whole.
my anxiety pretty much encompasses everything. it’s not picky. if i can worry about it, i most likely will, sooner or later. but there’s one thing that always, without fail, snaps me out of it. one thing that brings me back to the present moment, brings me back to my power…
probably not very surprising, considering that yoga works wonders for a lot of people, and i’ve talked about what it’s done for me personally here many times before. but sometimes, we do need that friendly reminder to put us back in our place.
a few years ago, i wrote an article for elite daily titled “5 reasons why all millennials would benefit from practicing yoga” that really hit home for me when i was writing it… and i think it resonated with others too – it was shared almost 300 times!
i wanted to share it here today, because i think all of these points are still valid… for everyone, not just millennials [although they may hit a little closer to home for us than other generations].
… and then go hit the mat… and take this little piece of yogi wisdom with you…
the guest house
as a yogi, i’m a huge fan of rumi, a 13th century persian poet whose work is full of wisdom that integrates very well into the practice of yoga. i always find myself being able to take away so much from his beautiful insights, and love the fact that his work is still applicable and relevant in a world that he could have never imagined in his lifetime.
recently, i discovered one of his poems, the guest house, after coldplay [we can talk more about my obsession with them later] used several lines from this piece on their new album. the words intrigued me, so i started googling them… and wasn’t surprised to discover that the message coming through my speakers was from rumi:
needless to say, i’ve become completely obsessed with this piece, and find myself sharing it with friends, and reading it multiple times a week, especially when i feel like i need to take a step back and clear my head.
what i love most is that rumi is giving us permission to feel all of the feels. so often we try to control our emotions, ignore how we’re feeling and pretend like everything is fine, but from this approach, we’re actually being told that it’s not only okay to, but that we should, do the opposite.
i also love the idea of our bodies being the guest house for the feels… “guest” being the key word here… guests of any kind aren’t permanent… and neither are our emotions or those unavoidable bad days.
every situation, every feeling has a purpose. without the bad, we wouldn’t know the good. without feeling sadness, how would we ever know what it feels like to truly be happy? …see where i’m going here?
rumi is also suggesting that each emotion has been given to us as a means of figuring out what our next move is. something doesn’t feel right? okay, great. time to take a look at where this feeling is coming from and determine what can be done to resolve it.
feelings, emotions, situations… they aren’t punishment. you aren’t suffering because the universe hates you. there’s a reason for all of this. you just have to step back, look at things from a different perspective, and find out what that reason is.
the yoga diaries: an update
it’s been quite some time since i’ve done an installment of the yoga diaries, and as i sat in front of my computer trying to come up with a topic for a new post, i gravitated in this direction.
as i’ve mentioned in previous posts, my transition to life on the west coast [best coast] has been a process, and for a couple of months, i really neglected my yoga practice. the studio was too far away or i was too tired after a long day at work … i couldn’t afford a monthly membership … whatever the excuse was, i made it. and even though yoga has played such an important role in my life, for some reason, i failed to realize that this was going to be a problem … and wow, did it become a problem.
when i neglected my yoga practice, a lot changed … and not in a good way! i was constantly stressed out, sleeping for less than 4 hours each night, and just constantly on edge. it felt like nothing was going my way and that i was pushing and pushing and pushing towards things that i was just never going to get to. when i finally reached a breaking point, i assessed what i was doing and realized that one major thing that had shifted was how often i was hitting the mat. i recommitted to a consistent practice and almost instantly felt a shift in my demeanor.
this isn’t to say that there wasn’t anything else impacting how i was feeling, but it made me realize how important my practice is to my sanity and how i go about tackling each day. getting back to a consist practice [and teaching more!] is a new year’s resolution i’m already getting after … i mean, why wait when you can start now?
so, the moral of the story? whatever it is that keeps you sane … keeps you in balance, makes you feel good … never stop doing it, even when … especially when … things get crazy. they will only get crazier. find the hour, the day, whatever you need, to do what you need to do for you.
with all of this being said, a monthly installment of the yoga diaries will be part of the changes i’m making to bananas + bellinis in the new year. it’s important to me as i grow as a teacher and student, and i’m excited to get back to sharing the journey with you here.
motivation mondays: week 38
wow, what a morning! today, i taught my very first yoga class at a studio here in erie, so i apologize for the delay in getting today’s post up! i spent most of yesterday prepping for that [i was a little nervous!] so i’m appreciative of your understanding. also, if you’re an erie resident, i definitely recommend checking out plasha yoga if you ever have the chance. the studio even holds beach classes out on presque isle in the summer… and beach yoga of any kind is as close to paradise as it gets!
since i’m spending some time at home before moving to l.a., i’m getting to know places in the area that i’ve never had a chance to check out before, which has actually been fun, even though there isn’t a whole lot to do in this neck of the woods. yesterday, i went to the southern tier brewery in lakewood, new york. they have a really nice outdoor area where you can sit and enjoy a beer [or two or three] as well as a pretty decent food menu. the veggie tacos were on point.
as much as i enjoy talking about yoga and tacos [i do really love both of those things like, a lot] it’s time to get the week started on a positive note with a little motivation mondays [in case you didn’t know that’s where i was going with all of this already].
this concept has come up in a few of the yoga classes i’ve taken over the past several weeks, and after teaching this morning, i thought sticking with the natural themes of life would be perfect a good way to kick off the week. this whole concept can be a hard thing to wrap your head around [it definitely was for me at first… and still is], but i really love the idea and want to share it here, but i’ll do my best to keep it simple!
everything you experience in the world, everything you see, hear, feel, do, etc., is an expression of you. and in turn, you, just as you are, are an expression of the universe. it goes both ways. not quite following? here’s how i like to look at it:
because you are an expression of the universe, you have everything you need within you to be who and what you want to be.
you don’t need to seek approval from others because they too are an expression of the universe, whether they realize and act like it or not. when we seek our happiness, our inner peace, from outside sources it doesn’t usually end well or last very long, and the reason for this is because we can’t find these things anywhere except within.
ponder that this week and let me know what you think.
1. yea, i was a big fan of the hills and this “where are they now?” article kinda made me really happy [team l.c. for lyfe]. i’m also still holding out hope that brody and l.c. will end up together. i mean, stranger things have happened…
2. because dogs. obviously.
3. wanderlusting hard for Zanzibar after discovering this place the other day. i mean come on.
bonus link this week… to sign up for my newsletter! go ahead, just click here… you know you wanna!
have an amazing, peaceful [both outer and inner!] week… see you on wednesday with a recipe post!
photo courtesy of caged canary
the yoga diaries: pt. v
it’s been quite a while [almost two months, if we wanna get technical] since i took some time to post here on the blog about my yoga “journey”… whatever that means. initially, the yoga diaries was intended to be a place for me to record and share my experience going through yoga teacher training, but as it came to a close, i knew i didn’t want to stop writing about yoga.
when it comes to yoga, the learning never ends and you will forever be a student to the practice, and with that knowledge, it didn’t really seem appropriate to end this series when teacher training ended. so, here we are!
immediately following my teacher training [i’m pretty sure i killed my final exams, by the way], i took a little hiatus from yoga… not on purpose or anything… remember, i love yoga… but i was so busy catching up on life that i didn’t make it to class for almost three weeks… and that was a big change! i spent some time with the friends i hadn’t gotten to see too much of, i slept in, i watched some Netflix, i went out and had a drink or two [which i hadn’t really done while training was going on], i took a few weekend trips… i hung out with my classmates from teacher training outside of the yoga stuido… you get the picture.
i almost felt guilty about it, but you know what? in all honestly, as much as i love yoga, i think my body needed a break after 12-weeks of the most intense practice of my life. it was also a good way to remind myself that yoga is not only a physical practice, but a guide for how you approach life… i feel like regardless of if i get to class or do a single asana in a day, i can still find ways to practice #yogaeverydamnday.
eventually, i made my way back to the studio, opened an unlimited monthly membership and got back to the mat. i’ve been consistent with my practice and can feel the difference in the way i move through each class, the way i push myself when i know i can handle it and the way i back off when i know i can’t.
i don’t even view yoga as a form of “working out” anymore… while it has basically always been the only form of physical activity that i truly enjoy, it’s so much more than that for me at this point. it calms and centers me, connects my thoughts and emotions to my physical body, serves as a spiritual practice [seriously, if yoga was a religion… ] and just makes me feel effing good.
my demeanor and outlook on life has definitely shifted, as well. i feel more confident, less stressed and just generally a little mentally calmer… a lot less brain chatter going on than i’m used to! i don’t dwell on things and have become much better about just letting sh*t go. i feel kind of unstoppable and as if i can do anything i want. i’m gearing up to make some big changes in my life and i honestly don’t know if i would have the courage to do it if i hadn’t gone through this training. i seriously have yoga to thank for so many things.
[my teachers gave me a postcard with this quote on it on the last day of training for a pretty specific reason. i look at it every. single. day. and it will always serve as a pretty special reminder to me… thank you dani and heather for always being so supportive… i love you guys!]
i’ve obviously noticed the changes in myself, but my friends and coworkers have told me they’ve sensed a shift in the way i carry myself, too… as if i seem lighter [not physically, but in an energetic way] and just more at ease. you know you’ve gone through a transformation when other people take notice… and it’s a pretty good feeling!
finally, i’m pretty excited to say that i’ve been teaching classes! i’ve taught a handful of small groups as well as some private sessions and it’s just so much fun. i’m feeling more and more comfortable with teaching each time i do it, and i think i’ll be confident enough to start going on auditions for teaching positions at some studios here in new york soon. the thought terrifies me but… i can do anything i want, right?!
before i sign off for the weekend, if you’re located in new york and want to do some yoga with your’s truly, please reach out! i can teach all levels in private, group or corporate settings and i‘m offering free sessions from now until the end of this month on a first come, first serve basis. if you’re interested in, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get something on the calendar!
enjoy your weekend… and go to yoga! namaste!
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