If I walked up to you, and told you I have the secret to escaping your crazy mind, would you believe me? If I added that simultaneously, your body will begin to heal, and your problems will dissolve into plans, would you think I was the crazy one?
Before I got sick with ovarian cancer, a couple years ago, I sure would’ve thought the idea was crazy. At the very most, it could be a “made for TV” item for sale; maybe the magic elixir could be sold at gas stations, next to the candles and neck pillows. Haven’t we all been gifted one of those lavender neck pillows? They are good for car rides, but I never seem to have mine in the car!
I have had to make peace with my anxiety, I worry a lot about my kids, and I fight off worrying about not being around for my kids as they grow up. These thoughts creep in; however, like a meandering river that finds its way around big boulders and small dams, I have found the way to keep these thoughts from taking root for too long. Something I never thought about before, is the river’s progress isn’t so much the result of the power of water… but rather the power of momentum.
The power of momentum literally keeps the river’s intention alive. A river defies stagnation, nature has far better plans for her day. The same goes for keeping our bodies and minds clear of toxins and toxic thoughts, and the best way to do this is through yoga (and drinking lots of fluids). It is through the routine practice of hitting your mat, staying hydrated, and focusing on your breath that one can keep clear site on their intentions.
As I age, I use the benefits of hindsight to move my goals forward. Looking back on my life, I see where my true-self grew from moving and stretching to reach alignment not only with my body, but with my mind. Your breath will literally bring your body, heart and mind into alignment with your quest; it creates momentum to stay on your path towards inner peace. And this momentum will bring you back to your mat each day, bringing more and more of your life into clear waters.
Calm, beautiful, clear waters to carry your dreams to fruition… but if my practice stalls, and my mat stays rolled up tight, it is not long before my body follows. My muscles will tighten, my shoulders round and my breathing stalls. Often the anxiety comes first, and then everything gets worse; such an easy fix to a rather annoying list of problems. The American Osteopathic Association put a succinct list of the physical benefits together:
- Increased flexibility.
- Increased muscle strength and tone.
- Improved respiration, energy and vitality.
- Maintaining a balanced metabolism.
- Weight reduction.
- Cardio and circulatory health.
- Improved athletic performance.
- Protection from injury.
It is from experience that I know my head and body improve, and everyone else who is committed will share the same. I now keep my momentum going with yoga, and find breathing to be the best elixir around. I keep the pressure off, and do what I can, even if it’s simply a sun salutation (a simple series of moves that lights up over 95% of your muscles).
The best part is how easy it is to access yoga nowadays; I do most of my practice online at home (Gaia, Wanderlust TV and Yogaglo). There are as many online resources as there are studios; in fact, yoga in my pajamas is becoming popular in my house, and your pets will love to join in the fun.
So, stop standing at the river’s edge, and get in… breathe the water, and make your body flow with the momentum of your intentions.