On the Mat

I love yoga. I love it for the introspection, the 75 minutes on my mat that is devoted entirely to me (although this doesn't mean I'm always completely "present" either), I love it for the openness I feel afterwards and for the community I've met along the way. one of the insights given in a yoga class one day was pointing out that how we show up on our mat is how we show up in life. Interesting. I posted this thought on my instagram page not long ago, challenging all of us to take a look to see if in fact we are showing up at all.
 
There are times where life gets busy and stressful when truthfully moving our bodies, either through yoga or a lunchtime jog would probably be the best thing we could do. Somehow though, these natural behaviours are often the first to be dropped. This may seem small and justifiable at the time, however our behaviours create habits, and this one instance can set the tone for dropping more positive action steps in the future.
 
Assuming you made it to your mat (or your version of such), it is interesting to observe where your self talk takes you. The biggest lesson yoga continues to teach me is how to be present. if your thoughts are lingering on the events of the day (or your lifetime), or bringing you forward into the future, we lose our state of presence and connection to what is real...to what is now.
 
In a time where our dear city is in flux, uncertainty and stress, we must maintain our state of presence. Recognize what we have control over right now. Stay true to our community and recognize that everyone has their own battle they are facing. The first step in rebuilding our external environment, is to look inward and make a choice to "show up". Not always easy, not always fun. But in keeping with our agreements we make with ourselves, by being gentle yet accountable, and by remembering to breathe, we will find that we are stronger than we may think.
 
My challenge to you is to take an honest look to see where you are putting energy. If you are on your mat, are your thoughts reinforcing old, redundant playlists, or are you taking this present opportunity to shift. Can you define a circumstance with a more helpful story, or let go of the "story" altogether and just be with what is?
 
Find inspiration in the ordinary and beauty in the difficult. Move, return to your "mat" and breathe.
 
 *Photo taken at Pranamar Villas in Costa Rica

 

Nature is Life

There is something to be said for getting off "the grid", and becoming reacquainted with nature. Recently, I had the privilege of traveling to Costa Rica for a much-needed, much-overdue vacation. Although I was only down there for a week, I had many incredible reminders of how majestic, powerful and amazing nature is...when there is no interference. The first day brought us an earthquake (which actually came from an earthquake that occurred in Nicaragua), the 5th day brought a lunar eclipse (which we actually didn't see directly) and a full moon, the effects of which were evident in the tumultuous ocean and less-predictable waves. We also witnessed the early migration of land crabs down to the beach from their mountain burrows, to lay their eggs...an event that occurs at the beginning of rainy season. So many amazing events, all part of the natural cycle of nature. 

So what does this have to do with anything related to health? Everything. Witnessing first-hand, the incredible power of nature and natural, predictable cycles that occur, was an amazing reminder of what we as human beings are a part of, but often forget. We see the beauty in nature and trust that life takes care of itself, yet forget about the inborn wisdom that exists within us. We interfere by artificially controlling cycles and rhythms of the body, making outcomes and reactions less predictable. It extends beyond the human frame though too. The more we exert artificial control over nature, the more we disrupt the cycle and existence of all animals. Sounds deep, but it's  important. We are not separate from nature. Until we remember and respect that, the further from health we will be.

 As someone who works with the power of the body on a daily basis, I can tell you that the awe we find in nature, is within us every day! How cool is it that sperm cells swim aimlessly on their own, yet when in the presence of an egg they swim in unison towards it. How cool is it that your body can sense when your skeleton is under more stress and responds by laying more bone to assist in support. How cool is it that even the thought of food produces saliva containing enzymes that will aid in digestion? We have way more inborn intelligence than we have been led to believe. Ask yourself if your choices and actions are supporting nature or interfering with it. The power that made the body, heals the body.