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My co-worker (and good friend) and I just spent a week in Philadelphia at a Partner convention for one of our product lines. She is a fitness buff and we have a lot of great conversations about the health and fitness world. We bounce ideas off each other. We support each other in our various pursuits. We give each other an insane amount of crap for our oddities. We have fairly similar view points when it comes to working out and staying fit. The place where we go our separate ways is Yoga. She finds it too slow moving and boring. I find it restorative.

This has not always been the case with me. It used to be more about stretching after a run rather than a mind and body workout. I follow a yoga instructor on Youtube and have done a number of her “30 days” yoga challenges. Through all that, yoga has always remained the same in my mind – a good way to stretch out. Until now.

This 30 day yoga camp I’ve been doing has just hit me on a deeper, more personal level. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I’m training for my iron cowboy, which has been a very emotional journey. Every day of yoga has a mantra associated with it. I have found myself really focusing on the mantra each day as we go through the sequence. I Respect… I Am Focused… I Am Worthy… I Surrender… I Believe… Fill in the blanks. It’s been a very personal journey as I’ve pondered and reflected each days’ mantra.

I feel like it finally clicked. It’s not just a “workout” or a “good stretch after a run.” It’s yoga, as yoga was meant to be. A journey towards enlightenment. A time that I take just for me. To breathe. To reflect. To learn about me. To learn to be in the moment. To escape from my normal Type A “oh my god, I have this and this and this and this still on my list of to-dos.” I do this on my runs – hurry and get through it because I have to still get my yoga done. Then I need to hurry through my yoga because I need to get dinner done. Then hurry and get through dinner because I need to fold clothes. Then hurry to fold clothes because I have some shows to catch up on. You get the picture. And I’d be willing to bet that I’m not alone in this routine where I’m always looking to the next event.

This has been a good journey for me. A much needed journey. It has given me a level of confidence in the training that I’ve been doing. It has helped me truly believe that I can do anything. It has helped me understand the importance of taking time for my mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

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