Taking time to breathe

"When you notice that you are pushing yourself to complete a task, soften and be merciful with yourself. Inhale quietly and exhale gently, extending the very same kindness to yourself that you would to another in the same situation. Begin again."  --Judith Lasater, Ph.D., P.T. "Living Your Yoga"

I had the pleasure of attending a yoga class last Sunday that was supposed to run for 2 hours. It ended up going for 4pm and taking me, both physically and mentally, into places I never thought I would go. Who knew I could spread my legs apart and be able to lean forward and touch my belly to the floor? I certainly didn't. Our instuctor Charles Shiva Shankara certainly did. He and his lovely wife Ananda pushed us all past our limits and do things we thought were impossible.

I actually did a headstand - assisted - but now have the overwhelming urge to do one alone. To "prove" that I can. I tried poses that defied gravity yet were done by other members of the group whose feet I didn't have to hold up! I am still developing enough upper body strength for the more amazing feats.

What I did do was come home in a state of bliss. My body was strong, energized and my mind whirled at the speed of sound with all that was possible.

Over the past few months I have worked on changing perspective. I am strengthening both my mind and my body. Weights and running (I can run for almost 20 minutes straight now!) as well as writing and reading. I am listening to my body and my intuition. If it feels wrong, I don't do it. If it will benefit me, I dive in.

What a change. Physically, while I have lost about 10 pounds overall since June, I am stronger and leaner. Mentally, I am capable of taking on the world. My writing has changed. It reflects my strength. Even my reading has changed to include less fluff - well, except on those days that I really don't want to get off the couch but do anyway!

As I move into Fall and things settle back into routine, yoga and meditation will become part of that. Just sitting on the deck or anywhere comfortable to breathe and reconnect with my Self will be a huge part of my day even if it's only for 5 minutes.

Taking that small opportunity to sit and breathe will only help to make one stronger.

Now breathe....


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