I tell my students all the time, “Just breathe through the discomfort…let your breath keep you anchored in the present moment…only breath…letting the sound of your breath calm your mind.” Oh the list goes on.
Now as my life takes another crazy turn…teenagers and their issues (it’s true what they say about small kids, small problems; big kids, big problems…those of you with young children…Enjoy!)…now I’m faced with problems that I used to believe wouldn’t happen to my kids and now the act of staying calm…seems completely impossible.
My yoga teacher, readily tells our class that yoga is… “Learning to be comfortable in an uncomfortable situation.” That of course applies off the mat, as well as on the mat.
Comfortable?!! How about not freaking out?
Give me one of those hip stretches, where I feel like I’m a wishbone and my only wish is to come out of it…not this mess that I have to figure out. Give me two hours of dripping wet yoga, where I collapse at the end into a beautiful savasana, feeling like a sopping wet dishrag…not this feeling that these problems are bigger than me.
When things get hard for me, the only place I can find solace is on my mat. It’s my time…. away from the train wreck that it seems like I’m facing.
My mat…a place to find comfort, calm, peace amidst the storm of my reality.
My practice…a place to just breathe.
My breath…my anchor when I feel overwhelmed.
How does your yoga practice help you get through the ups and downs of your life?
Need help catching your breath? Physically or figuratively? Join us for a retreat and take time for you. You’ll find your breath and so much more. Book here.
The drive to the yoga retreat this weekend was less than stellar. A massive (read: insane) thunderstorm accompanied me the entire drive east. Rain falling sideways. Almost non-existent visibility. Lightning striking the ground next to me. White knuckles on my steering wheel. Flooded streets. Wind gusts pushing my vehicle from one lane to the next. I laughed, in spite of my fear.
I recalled preparation for Savasana – the final relaxation pose in yoga. Commonly, we go into the final pose by taking each muscle into tension, then relaxation, bit by bit, from the bottom of our feet to the top of our heads.
“Maybe that’s what I’m doing right now,” I said out loud to myself. “I’m completely tensing my body, lungs and heart rate because I’m going to let go of all of this tension when I get there.”
When I arrived, I was greeted with a glass of wine, a plate of freshly prepared, scrumptious dinner, and smiling faces from strangers… who would soon become friends.
Yoga, on the top floor of the beautiful log cabin, felt strong and wonderful.
The food was homemade and mmmm….yummy…
We shared stories and laughter. We bonded over life’s disappointments and transitions. We held each other up over glasses of wine, fruit and chocolate treats. We sat in awe at each other’s history and what brought us to this common place and time.
Oh and the trees…. I LOVE trees. Trees are a natural sedative to me. And to nap in a hammock in the middle of Saturday afternoon with this view meant I had no obligations except to myself.
I will be going back.
My dream 8 years ago was to provide a yoga retreat for all levels and all practitioners. A retreat that’s as much about relaxing, laughing, enjoying my favorite things (coffee, wine and chocolate) and visiting with other women, as it is about yoga. I want my retreats to be accessible to all, physically, financially and socially. Attendees enjoy coffee and wine, and healthy, but equally delicious meals; practice yoga and meditation, but not so much that there’s no down time; enjoy massages and free time to shop, nap in the hammock, read, visit with friends, and so much more. It’s complete bliss!
It was a chilly February morning in 2004. My family and I made the trip from Dallas to the town of Mineola to look at the property now known as Retreat in the Pines. Driving down the long and winding driveway through the trees, we had no idea what to expect. Suddenly we were in a clearing, and directly in front of us was a log house, smoke gently curling out of the chimney, the lights on beckoning us inside.
It looked like home.