I know this is supposed to be a jewelry blog, but I love the feeling of being physically healthy. Especially as the kiddos get back into the groove of school, I love purging my body of the excess ice cream and poolside French fries that are all too common in the summer months. Please note I’m talking about being strong, well or fit. I’m not saying ‘skinny’, because that’s just stupid.
I’m not one for gyms. I am also delicate when it comes to cold weather. Weird because I live in the mountains, huh? This fragility severely hampers my outside regimen although I love being outdoors from approximately June through August. I realize for a lot of you, these are your meccas and I respect that. Do what you do, boo!
But what about being mentally healthy? Shouldn't we place as much emphasis on purging toxicity from our heads as well as our bodies going into Fall?
Like a lot of people, I grew up being tough on myself. I was my biggest critic. I criticized myself physically, from my towering height to the rings under my eyes. I critiqued my mental capacity: “How come I couldn’t come up with a hysterical rebuttal to that cruel remark?” For a long time I was a perfectionist in every sense of the word and loathed when I wasn’t. Silly me, as though perfection can really ever exist! But Lord, how I tried! How could I even attempt becoming comfortable in my own skin? My life was upended the day I walked into a yoga class 16 years ago.
Yoga has been around for thousands of years, but it’s really hit its stride for the past three decades in the U.S. Side note: are we always this late to the party? It increases flexibility and strength while reducing stress. It can also help aid depression, heart disease and lower back pain, among a myriad of other conditions. If you have a goal in mind and stick with it, you’ll most likely exceed it. Boom...put a checkmark in the "healthy body" box!
I’m not going to bore you with all the benefits because you have Google, but I must share this secret with you. When I began my practice and still to this day, it sneaks up on me in the most amazing way. I come out of each class with a profound and greater understanding of myself and the world around me. Alas, now I get to put a checkmark in the huge box that has "healthy mind" written next to it. If what you’re doing for yourself makes this same impact, I’m so happy you’ve found your groove!
When I walk into a class, there’s never any competition, maliciousness or judgement. That sense of community fosters a kindness for yourself and others. I truly believe this deep and meaningful compassion then ripples out into the world. How we approach poses and treat ourselves on the mat has a direct correlation to how we approach the world and treat ourselves off the mat. We are constantly reminded “we are our own best teachers” and it’s so true. I’ve learned to trust my intuition, push myself and also take it easy when needed. Ultimately, you make peace with yourself as your practice evolves. My perfectionism hasn't magically disappeared, but yoga has given me a healthier perspective on it (and countless other demons) over the years.
If you’ve never tried, I would urge you to give yoga a shot, even if it’s once a week. If you did and it wasn’t for you, try a different studio or type of yoga. Most likely there’s a class in your area. Check out a few different kinds and see what speaks to you. If there aren’t classes in your area or its cost prohibitive to practice at a studio, there’s a million online resources and several apps that are cheap and effective. Don’t give up!
After you try it, I’d love to hear from you so leave a comment or email me. If you already practice, feel free to tell me how it has transformed your own life!
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