It has been many moons since we updated our blog yet we are still practicing Power Vinyasa Yoga in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Getting our Feel Good Flows on, Living in the Present and Loving It! Now we exclusively do Beach Yoga Pictorials, it is inspiring yoga with creative photography.Our current schedule is here
This week I celebrate my third anniversary as a practitioner of Yoga. One beautiful Sunday afternoon in the Spring Season of 2011, I attended my first Yoga class at the Jamerson YMCA in Lynchburg, VA. I will never forget the experience and how I was immediately awakened to a new path of personal growth. While I had been a member of health clubs since 1993, always focused on cardio and aerobic exercise, I could not find time for Yoga. My first Yoga teacher had been encouraging me for two years to try “it” and when I did there was an immediate connection. Beginning that day I started down a path of weekly Yoga practices, 200 hr RYT training and teaching, self inquiry and meditation. But more importantly through the Yoga path, I have found a deeper love for myself, others and for living. I found a deeply rooted peace and happiness that had eluded me.
So this blog entry is a celebration of my Yoga path, and lessons learned along the way. So much can be said of the depth of the Yoga experience. It is far more than physical exercise. My daily Yoga practice provides a place of stillness and peace. The Yoga path leads to an internal awakening and experience of the richness and beauty of life. The greatest lesson I have learned is to live fully in the present moment, accepting the NOW, with gratitude, peace and joy. Life will bring us challenges, transitions and great difficulties but through Divine Grace we can overcome. Learn to let go of the past while fully experiencing the present, accepting “what is”. The key to healing is to learn to confront our fears, feel the pain, and let it go. We cannot dwell in the past and heal, but must live fully in the present moment. All of life’s experiences and lessons learned have prepared us for the present. Where we are tomorrow depends upon what we do today. So live for today and enjoy. If you have not found time to make Yoga a daily part of your life, do so today. Enjoy the energy that comes through the practice. It is like experiencing a beautiful Spring day. Namaste, Yogi G
In a society demanding instant gratification, healing does not necessarily happen. We have a headache, we take a pill. Stressful day at work, a few drinks will help. Anxiety each time you do a presentation, why not pop a Xanax?
Yet, there is a big problem with this cycle: avoiding the root of the issue. We self medicate or use what the doctor has prescribed as a crutch. It is fast and reliable, but it is not the solution. Your headache, stress, anxiety (etc.) is all still there and what it will take to heal it is inquiry and time. There are several ways of healing, each specific to giving yourself attention. You are the one to decipher which one will work for you at certain moments or maybe utilize them all, all the time. Never think giving yourself this treatment is in vain, for without a clear mind, body and spirit, you cannot live out your life purpose.
- Yoga – Yoga is incredible because it really helps you become in tune with your body, thoughts and emotions. In life, it is easy to push emotions and pain deep inside of you rather than expressing them freely for fear of judgment. Certain asanas can bring to the surface stored trauma or injury, confronting you to deal with it and the more you practice, the more progress you make. It is really lovely because it is not a competition, it only involves you in the present moment practicing your devotion. Taking it deeper, when you learn about the Eight Limbs of Yoga, you begin to dissect and take a part your habits and mentality and embark upon a journey of self-healing. Perhaps most importantly, the practice really forces you to recognize your breath, cascading to the core of life.
- Food – Now, read carefully, because with food there is a fine line: one can use it as an emotional crutch, gorging or depriving. I am talking about a healthy relationship with food, one where you eat mindfully. Perhaps you are feeling a little down, making something warm that you had as a child can bring upon a comforting feeling, take you back to the carefree, innocent times. Or if you are experiencing illness, food can be treated as medicine. Whatever the reasoning may be, remember to savor each bite and be aware of it's flavor, texture and how it makes you feel.
- Essential Oils – Because of the size of essential oils they easily penetrate the skin and cell walls. They are also lipid-soluble and can affect every single cell of the body in twenty minutes. Since disease starts in the cell, essential oils are a powerful healing method. Also, scent is the only sense directly associated with the part of the brain dealing with emotion, meaning that inhaling oils can trigger past memories, positive or negative. You can incorporate the oils to help you work through any blockages within yourself.
- Journaling – You need to let out your thoughts and feelings and sometimes there is no one willing to listen. Writing them down is a way to voice it, making it tangible rather than something floating inside of you. Also, you can track all the different variables surrounding your well-being and see what is stressing you out or inducing anger or upset. When you dig deeper and understand that the way you act is not drawn from thin air, then you can make your adjustments to be your optimal whole.
Most importantly is not to over complicate life. Be open to unexpected scenarios, feel each and every emotion that courses within you, express your truth to the world and honor your breath. You are the universe.
Note: As I am writing this weekly entry, it is the Spring Season and I am preparing for my annual trip to St. Thomas Parish, Jamaica. This is my eighth year assisting the Central Virginia Medical Mission Team with support for a medical team serving 2,000 Jamaican residents over 6 days. The 10 day trip takes me out of my normal daily Yoga practice and more toward Bhaki (love and devotion) and Karma (selfless service) Yoga Paths. I look forward to this trip, which challenges me physically and emotionally, and ask for your prayers for safe travel. I will write of my experiences upon my return. Namaste, Yogi G
One of our greatest gifts of life is achieved through the transforming power of Yoga. The practice of doing our work (or Sadhana) following the eight limbs of Yoga brings tremendous benefit physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. When practiced simultaneously, the eight limb practice of Raja Yoga develops strength, flexibility, balance and coordination in the physical body. It brings calming mental effects, emotional peace and spiritual clarity. These benefits are obtained following a set of simple rules and practices defined in the 2,500 year old Yoga Sutras of the sage Patanjali. This text conveys to us the basic teachings of Yoga passed down verbally by generations of practitioners. Although Yoga is not new, the last 100 years has seen tremendous growth in application to challenges of our modern age. Yoga practices include observances that relate to our relationships with others (Yamas) and oneself (Niyamas). Physical exercises or postures (Asanas) for physical and mental benefit; and breathing techniques (Pranayama) to bring Divine Energy to the body and spirit. The mental and emotional body finds peace through the spiritual practices (Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi). The practices of Patanjali are the Eight Limb Path of Yoga (Ashtanga). The Sutras (threads) were written down to ensure the benefits of the practice could be carried forward to future generations. When one begins the Yoga path, it can seem overwhelming at first. All the confusing information. My encouragement is to give it time. Yoga is a process, using ancient tools and methods to find direction in life, a sense of balance and grounding in the present moment. It is far more than a physical form of exercise. And when applied, regardless of your belief, it can make a difference to deepen your connectedness to yourself, to others and to the world around you (Creation and Creator). The true healing power of Yoga is learning to Love oneself, as you are, for whom you are, in the present moment, and to trust that things work out for good. Yoga will empower you to take charge of what we can control, and to allow God to take care of the rest. It is my prayer this day that you will begin down the path to seek the healing power of Yoga both physically, emotionally and spiritually. To learn more about this path get a copy of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali or take a Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) near you. There are many great teachers of Yoga. Find your path and a teacher. You will be transformed forever!