Coming to the Mat

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I’ve been coming to the mat more regularly.  To work out aches and let go of pains.  To remember that my breath is for breathing.  To stretch my body and my mind.

These days I can’t seem . . .

1

I’ve been coming to the mat more regularly. To work out aches and let go of pains. To remember that my breath is for breathing. To stretch my body and my mind.

These days I can’t seem . . .

to start my day without a down dog or two, and I like to sink into pigeon pose before I hit the pillow.  I can’t confess that I do hot yoga, have perfected inversions, or practice for more than 30 minutes a day.

Exercise has always been more mental then physical for me.  My body feels better, but my mind does too.  A few years ago, I was really committed to walking 30 minutes a day.  Nothing could detour me from it.  When I had to miss a day, I found it wasn’t my feet that were freaking out for lack of movement, but my mind that was groggy and overcrowded from lack of clearing.

I walked away from walking when, a little over a year ago, I got talked into running a half-marathon.  I honestly didn’t think I was physically capable.  But, I was.  I loved the runners high (which I thought was a myth)….so much so that three days after the half-marathon, with three toe nails missing, all I could think about was, “how can I get out and go for a run?”  Sadly, I’ve found that my feet don’t fare well with running, and although I miss it (never thought I’d say that in a million years), I’m better to stick with walking.

I’m drawn to yoga because I’ve always loved stretching.  When I was young I was in gymnastics, tumbling, and cheerleading.  Stretching was a regular ritual.  Although I’d really like to do the splits again, these days what keeps me coming back to the mat is the mind, body connection.  Being Focused in the moment.  Prompts to let go of the day that just passed and just be right where you are.  I guess at this point, I need prompts.

Sometimes, even prompts to breathe.  I find I actually hold my breath a lot throughout the day, so to spend time focusing on the breath is really helpful.  Deep inhales and long exhales.  I never thought about breathing into certain areas of my body (to make space, or to take a stretch/pose deeper), or that a loud sigh of an exhale is really good for your nervous system.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!  But, it is.  Try it.

Coming to the mat is a great time for my mind to get quiet, even if just for fifteen minutes, to let go and to listen.  I listen to my breath, listen to myself, listen to God.

This year, I really need to incorporate more strength building and I’m not certain what that looks like yet (I usually do light weights)?  I mentioned the other day that this is my year to be strong, body, mind, and spirit.  I’ve spent the past few years in survival mode and I’m ready to build and be strong.  And, who knows, maybe by year end I’ll be able to do the splits again.

Do you do yoga?  What do you love about it?  

What are your favorite ways to work out your body (and mind)?  

A few yoga favorites /

+ Sarah Beth Yoga on YouTube (love searching for whatever my body feels it needs – headaches, pms, hips, etc.)
+ Yoga Girl Book by Rachel Brathen (and following her on Instagram).  Love her!
+ oneOeight Yoga  a subscription site (also by Rachel Bratehn).  I love every class I’ve done on this site and they also offer videos on things like digestions (which I loved learning about).
+Bad Yogi 30 day challenge – a really doable program (physically and time wise) that gives you a wide variation and poses you might not normally try on your own.
+ My new yoga mat (so many fun patterns that are colorful and inspiring)
+ Diffusing essential oils while I’m on the mat (peace and calming is my fave)
+ Zella Live in Leggings – Do you have a fave brand of yoga pants?  These are so cute and this pair is on my wish list.

 

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Responses

  • Rose
    Commented on January 8th, 2016 at 3:11pm

    I have read your blog for a while, but never respond. I am a yoga teacher and have even used your writing in my classes!! If your body knows how to do the splits it can happen again. A mid 50’s woman in my teacher training class discovered splits again during our training. Practice ardha hanuman to try to reach full hanuman(splits).

    My favorite pants are k-deer and alo

    I love the asana(poses)of yoga ( have always been flexy bendy), but it really is about the mental release more than getting the next big pose for me. Yoga pretty much saved me in my mothering journey which is why I pursued my RYT.

    If you are a flexy bendy person (most who can or could do splits are) it is very important to work on strength training to balance it out. I started upping my weight training about five years ago and it has made a huge difference in my practice. Upper body strength does not come naturally to a lot of woman and having strength will help if you ever what to explore arm balances or inversions. Those poses are not required, but are sure a lot of fun. I have done bootcamp, tabata and trx as well. TRX is sooo hard, but so good too.

    I look forward to seeing more posts about your practice. It sounds like a match made in heaven.

    Namaste!

  • Trina
    Commented on January 11th, 2016 at 11:15am

    Thank you for reading and for your comment :) You’ve used my writing in your class! Wow, that makes me so happy! Thank you. I love hearing others stories of how yoga changed them or helped them through hard times. Blogging, in it’s beginning did that for me. Really it is the writing and still is….but I’m finding yoga to a big compliment. There is something about movement that really helps the mind and again, the breathing has been huge for me. I think I’m drawn to it because I have always been a pretty flexy bendy person and as you get older there are not many activities that incorporate that. I love the story about the lady in her 50’s discovering the splits again. I surprised myself in doing a headstand and I think I could push myself into hand stands – but I am at a place where I don’t want to push myself right now (like you said it’s more about the mental release right now then getting into the next pose). And, what you said about strength is where I’m at. I really want to build some muscle and feel stronger this year. Thanks for the tips on K-Deer…hadn’t heard of them. Namaste! xo.t

  • Melanie@Toots + Dill
    Commented on January 9th, 2016 at 10:48am

    Good for you!! I’ve always admired yoga…I really need to get into it again! Thank you for the motivation!

  • Trina
    Commented on January 9th, 2016 at 11:12am

    You are welcome….enjoy your time on the mat! xo .t

  • Laura
    Commented on January 15th, 2016 at 11:03am

    I’ve just started coming back to yoga myself, having not practiced since pregnancy, about 10 year ago. I’ve been waking before the rest of the house, and sneaking upstairs to the ‘rec room’ to do short sessions. I’m feeling recharged and hopeful about continuing, and as a former gymnast and cheerleader as well, would LOVE to get my splits back!

  • Trina
    Commented on January 19th, 2016 at 2:22pm

    Love that you are finding time to sneak away for yoga. Here is to two former cheerleaders getting back to the splits! YAY! xo . t

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