Yoga has trained me to recognize and face my fears with courage when they arise.
The fall of 2019 marked a big change in my life when my youngest child went away to college and my husband and I became empty-nesters.Truthfully, I’d been worrying about life’s changes for a while. Although I’ve always felt blessed, I also have experienced the effects of worry in my life.
As this change approached self-doubt began to surface. Sure I’d have more time for date nights, friends and travel, but I would also have a lot more time by myself.Was I enough?My yoga journey began two years ago. I started with a few yoga books from the library and quickly realized that I needed more hands-on instruction.Of course, I had so many questions about trying something new, but I eventually signed up for hatha yoga at a local studio. I saw the benefits of increased flexibility, balance, and strength.
However, I didn’t feel a mindful connection to my practice. During opening yoga meditations my mind tended to wander, and during shavasana, I often thought about my Wegmans shopping list.About one year ago, I joined a class at Mind Body Flow Yoga. I was intrigued by the concept of flow yoga mostly for it’s potential to increase my fitness level. Again, I had so many questions about Mind Body Flow Yoga.
- Would it be too hot?
- Would it be too difficult?
- Is vinyasa yoga for me?
I came to Mind Body Flow Yoga expecting to sweat more and get stronger. However, I did not expect to feel anymore zen.I began attending the 9:30 am Foundation Flow class and found the class both welcoming and challenging. The atmosphere of the Foundation Flow class encourages questions and a sense of community.After a few classes, I realized that I was listening to Marina’s inspiring words instead of planning my to-do list. I would come to class with my worries and leave feeling peaceful.Suddenly, I was feeling stronger and wanting to challenge myself to increase my practice time. I’ve since added an Open Flow class to my weekly routine.For me, worry surfaces as fear and anxiety over life’s what-ifs. While I’m very capable when it comes to handling real problems as they arise, I tend to feed on negative thoughts and live in fear of what might go wrong. My husband often remarks that a sense of calm arrives over me when an actual emergency strikes.Yoga has trained me to recognize and face my fears with courage when they arise. Now when I encounter uncertainties in life, I tell myself, “You got this!” I imagine myself breathing and feeling as strong as when I hold a plank or sit in chair pose.Poses, like happy baby, remind me to set aside my fears and embrace my playful side. Now I often find myself practicing and playing around with poses like crow, headstand, and handstand at home. As a student, I remind myself that yoga is a practice rather than a goal to complete.When Marina asked me to be this month’s featured student, my initial reaction was a feeling of excitement to be acknowledged for how far I’ve come since starting my yoga practice.The what-ifs about being in the spotlight eventually made their way to my mind’s surface, but they didn’t stop me from accepting her invitation with genuine enthusiasm.And this is what my practice has taught me – feel your fear and worry – and then let it go and move forward in the direction that scares you anyway.Mind Body Flow Yoga inspires me to embrace the extra time that I have for myself and to flow through life with greater ease.