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Yoga means so many things to me, but at this moment in time probably best described as PEACE. Yoga to me is a way of coping with stress and pressure from the outside world – regardless if live in Bali, Thailand, Costa Rica or Hawaii – and brings me supreme PEACE.
I began practicing yoga on a regular basis with a friend. It was our time to spend time together after our kids left for university. I haven’t stopped my regular practice and yoga has become such an important part of my life.
My life changed with the departure of my twin boys to two separate universities away from home. I went from being a busy mom, working full-time with the boys playing baseball, on the run six days a week, travelling for baseball tournaments, organizing fundraisers and keeping connected with friends and family. I loved it all and then they were off on adventures of their own which was really exciting for them, but a little frightening for me!
For the first four months, I walked around with what I felt was a little black cloud above my head. And then I started practicing yoga. The cloud slowly started to drift away and I found peace with the changes and realized I was ready to work on myself. It was time for me.
Yoga practice is my constant reminder of the importance of internal peace and self-love and with those daily reminders; I am finding myself more confident and happier.
Although I had practiced yoga off and on, when time permitted, for the past 20 years, this time it was different. Yoga gave me the peace I desperately needed. For one hour, I was content, relaxed, focused and was able to ease my stress, worry and sadness.
Although, at times, I’d be a bit weepy on my mat, it felt okay. The quant studio, the variety of yoga classes and a community of lovely yogis that welcome each other with smiles and conversation – all of which I required to find a better life balance.
One class, I laid in savasana and cried quietly as the teacher talked about how we feel, communicate, are connected and loved, as well as about some challenges we face daily. After class, I asked the instructor, “Did you feel something when I walked in today?” I explained my frustrating day and how I felt like she was speaking directly to me, with no one else in the room, as I lay on my mat crying. Her response with a kind smile was, ‘that’s why I do what I do.’
I find myself more at peace and find it easier to manage the different challenges I have faced the past few years. My boys are now in their third year of university, but I’ve also recently had a separation from my husband of 22 years who has also been my friend since childhood. I’m not too sure how I would have managed the past year without my yoga practice and finding solitude on my mat.
On my hardest days, my family and friends would always say ‘make sure you go to yoga’ or ‘are you going to yoga today?’ Clearly, they know what brings me comfort and for that I’m so appreciative and grateful.
Yoga has helped with my healing process and has also given me strength in my body and more importantly, my mind. The physical benefits have been amazing. My flexibility and strength have increased and my visits to physiotherapy have decreased dramatically!
Yoga is more than an hour on my mat. I live yoga every day in everything I do; while working with coworkers and customers; spending time with friends and family or just saying hello to someone walking on the trail. It is a way of life, treating yourself and others with love, respect and kindness.