3.21.2014

Going Beyond The Physical



Almost exactly a year ago, I decided I had had enough of the current gym I was at. The classes weren't good, I couldn't bring my children and I was ready to find a place that would be more than just a "gym".
Never in a million years did I think I would end up finding somewhere that my kids and I would develop friendships and eventually find my deep love for YOGA.
When I first started doing yoga a year ago, I HAD NO CLUE what I was doing. Over time, I got better and not only did my body reap the benefits, but it became more than a physical connection.
It sounds insane, but it became a place I could come and be myself for one hour.
Being a mom to two children who aren't even two years apart, YOGA gave me something that I could call my own for just an hour.
Not many things in my day are JUST MINE....my practice became something that could be mine, and it has become a beautiful journey.
I had no idea there were different styles of yoga. My sister used to do yoga ten years ago, and it was something I just didn't ever see myself doing. I preferred a kickboxing class or something a bit more "hardcore".  What I have come to realize is there are many different styles of yoga and I have chosen to fall in love with a Vinyasa style, because it actually is hardcore.
It also gets to my core...my physical AND emotional core.


 WHY I LOVE VINYASA :
1.) It all starts with your breath.
How often do you think about breathing? You don't because it's something we do so naturally. If you go to a YOGA class and there is no mention about breath, leave. Just kidding. In all seriousness, your breath is the most IMPORTANT part of your practice.
In a hot Vinyasa class, USUALLY you use your ujjayi pranayama. 
This breath has an "oceanic" type sound. Basically inhaling and exhaling through the nose, keeping your mouth shut. This breath is used to help build heat in your body, but also teaches you to breathe when things get tough. SO coming to your breath in a pose, will help your mind focus and connect and maybe bring you a little deeper. The beauty of learning to breathe is something we can use off the mat in ANY situation.

2.) THIS IS YOUR PRACTICE
If you go to a yoga class where the teacher isn't doing the practice, it isn't because he/she is lazy. BELIEVE ME, I would love to stand up in front of you and practice the entire time. However, that brings the students into watch-asana pose (haha where they just stare in amusement instead of doing their practice).
It is actually WAY HARDER to guide a class (of all levels) without doing it. We do this because this YOGA PRACTICE IS YOURS. Teachers are there to guide you, not do the practice. The beauty of a VINYASA CLASS is that you CAN DO whatever feels good for you. No judgement.
If you are just listening to the ques from the instructor, you can allow yourself to go beyond the physical of the practice, and really start to notice what feels awesome in YOUR BODY.

3.) Get OUT OF YOUR HEAD and ONTO YOUR MAT

People go to yoga for so many different reasons. To become stronger, more flexible, to be less stressed. Whatever reason you go there for, allow that to be your time to get out of your head and believe in yourself. YOUR MIND IS STRONGER THAN YOUR PHYSICAL BODY!
How often in life do we listen to the fears and little voices in our heads saying you aren't good enough? This time allows you to let go and become a free spirit of unconditional love.

4.) YOGA IS A COMMUNITY

A few weeks ago I attended a conference where I took some of the most amazing yoga classes from Jonny Kest. We were packed like sardines, with just a little bit of space between one another, and actually had to help each other in certain poses.
We live in such a touch phobic society where people are so afraid to touch someone. We think that yoga is such a serious practice, when over all, maybe just getting closer to the random person next to us is just the healing they need. We never know what our neighbor is going through, but yoga can be that unconditional love and support that someone may need.

5.) Works your MIND & BODY

I don't know many types of exercise that work your entire body. By that I mean, yoga can really go beyond the physical. In a Vinyasa style practice you learn sequences that get your heart pumping, and then after going through them a couple of times as a community, you are able to take those sequences and flow on your own. You are working your body and your mind to remember those poses. You have the option to add what you need and leave out what you don't. This is hard for people because maybe they don't want to let go and just flow...but that is the beauty of a true vinyasa practice.

6.) UNCONDITIONAL LOVE


The reason why I fell in love with vinyasa was because I experienced unconditional love during my practice. My mind was clear, my body was challenged and most importantly my heart is filled with unconditional love. We place judgements on people so easily, that this practice has allowed me to realize that we are all made beautifully. God has created each and every one of us so uniquely, that our bones, body structure and genetic makeup are so different. What my neighbor in a yoga room does has no bearings on me because I don't want to look or be like anyone else.

I absolutely love VINYASA....and it has become a part of who I am. The physical poses that we do is just a small portion of what YOGA really is. I urge you to try vinyasa, you may get hooked.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!
Namaste,
Alicia XOXO



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