When I look at how I manage the everyday juggle and grind, there is one thing that keeps me most grounded through it all. There is one thing, that no matter how stressed I am, or how frazzled I may be, that literally transforms my entire aura.
About 11 years ago, I was close to burning out. Literally. I don’t think anyone knew just how close I was. I owned a successful company, sales growing by the quarter. I was named one of the Top 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs. Top 40 Under 40 Nominee. I graced the cover of multiple business sections in newspapers. I was named a Profit Hot 50 Company– One of Canada’s 50 Emerging Growth Companies– I was the only female CEO on the list. And more. I was newly married. I had no kids.
But the more my company grew, the more I burned out. I wasn’t sleeping at night, and my mind was consumed by the business 24/7. I started to see a therapist who told me to create a “Worry List” on my nightstand. The Worry List worked as follows: When my thoughts kept me up at night, the idea was to transfer them from my head, onto paper, to worry about them at another time (not during my sacred time, when I deserved to sleep).
She also told me to try something else. Yoga. And so I did. I hired a private yoga instructor to come to my house twice a week. I did prenatal yoga throughout both my pregnancies. I now do yoga at my gym or at home. And ever since that near burnout, I have never stopped doing yoga.
So, In honor of National Yoga Awareness Month, I wanted to perhaps turn YOU onto yoga. And give you some tips. Yoga could change your life.
If you think you won’t enjoy it, or that it’s not a workout, or that you won’t get toned, or if you think yoga is for freaks, I want to leave you with 5 reasons… WHY YOGA?
- Simply put… yoga will make you feel better. And not just right after you finish a class or your own practice. This feeling carries you throughout your day. Scientific studies have shown the benefits of yoga on overall health, over and over again. It literally cleanses your organs, and yes, EVEN HELPS HANGOVERS! Yoga has been studied to help cure depression as well. Susan Orem, a yoga teacher in New York City and the owner of the Heathen Hill yoga retreat in the Catskills, says that a brief 20- to 30-minute yoga sequence that includes sun salutations, along with a few good twists and restorative poses, may bring extreme relief. (New York Times).
- There are many different yoga practices. Try them, and find a practice that you enjoy. I have linked you to different types and styles of yoga- click here. I have yet to try Bikram yoga, or hot yoga, which I am dying to try. The yoga practice I have mostly done for years is called ashtanga yoga, or power yoga. But there are benefits to all the different types.
- You don’t have to spend lots of money on yoga to re-balance yourself. You can create your own yoga space. All you need is a good yoga mat, a space to call your own, some water, perhaps a nice smelling candle, and a good DVD. I discovered yoga for stress relief purposes, and a friend of mine who did the same, told me about this yoga DVD for stress relief. But there are a ton on the market, and if you turn on your TV in the early am, chances are, you can catch one live. I find TV yoga quite easy, so if I’m too lazy to go to a yoga class at the gym, I will do the thirty minute TV yoga, and add some harder poses at the end to further challenge myself.
- Yoga is truly for EVERYONE- young and old. Beside making you feel better, yoga will build your strength and flexibility, and I say it again… decrease stress! Yoga promotes a balance between the mind, body, and spirit FOR ALL WHO PRACTICE IT REGULARLY. And I will be honest, yoga WILL give you a longer, leaner body, and promote better posture (if you combine it with healthy eating). So even if you do yoga as your ‘workout,’ (another reason I did yoga at the beginning), over time, you will feel all those other benefits as well.
- It takes time, so give it a chance. It WILL feel weird at the beginning. You’re gonna laugh, you’re gonna feel uncomfortable at the beginning. It’s pretty much a guarantee. You might feel very inflexible and very tight in your muscles and joints. But give it time. It just takes time. Be open.
So Happy National Yoga Awareness Month readers!
As the Buddha says: “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”
I’d love to hear if yoga has helped you in any way. Feel free to leave any yoga tips for our readers, or any ways yoga has helped you in your life.
And finally, to the mommies seeing their kids off to school today for the first day of a new grade, I’m sending you all positive vibes.
I’ve done yoga just a few times and was never able to get into it. You’ve inspired me to rethink it! Really enjoyed this post.
Fantastic post. It’s good to know September is yoga month. 🙂
I am a normal and sane person because of yoga. It has saved my life.
I absolutely love this article. Yoga is the best stress buster out there. If everyone really understood the many benefits, more people would be practicing.
Yoga has changed my life in so many ways…saved me during tough times, carried me to higher places during good times, made me more creative and, without a doubt, more centered, focused and thoughtful. Love this post–thanks for sharing!
Great post Erica. I’ve been doing yoga for 15 years and couldn’t live without it!
Erica, I had no idea that you were an Ashtanga yoga junkie! Me too – I practice 6 days a week, in a traditional, Mysore style studio here in Toronto. You will have to visit if you are ever in town. There is no question that it is the most grounding part of my life. I no longer think of my practice as exercise – it is a necessary part of my life, in all respects. I could never give it up! Thanks for sharing; Namaste.
I am so glad you enjoyed the post. It was more to make you realize you have options if you are stuck in a rut, and looking for something to help boost your mind, body and spirit.
Ruth, 6 days a week?! You are goooood! 🙂
Thanks for sharing about Yoga..I had no idea there were different types and honestly just haven’t thought much about it. My job is a high stress job and I don’t get much downtime b/c I go home to being a single mom of a 9 year..so more stress at home with homework and daily life. I would love to try something that would help alleviate some of that stress. Again thanks for sharing and I hope to report back good results!
This course will transform your life! Along with Anamaya’s ultra sound (and ultra tasty) organic food, yoga and meditation makes you in best physical and mental level. In addition to this you will have the great chance to experience the best place of earth called Costa RicaWe are having best facilities on comparable price … find us to be very reasonable in Anamaya, one of the most beautiful stations in the world of yoga. Take advantage and reserve while prices remain below average for a training of 200 hours of yoga teacher.
Great article. Yoga is so wonderful for the overall well being of our health. It is amazing how just a little bit can go a long way in calming our mind and our body. I also try to live the ayurvedic lifestyle and have found great products from Elanveda that support the yogi lifestyle. Good read on yoga as it pertains to our dosha as well was found at the elanveda blog. Your article is great as well. Namaste!
Hi! I shared this on my website/ blog as you did such a fine job of inviting people in recovery to the mat – my personal mission as well. I thank you
– Kyczy (author of “Yoga and the Twelve Step Path”) – namaste