midst of your breath

Hey y’all. So I’m seriously past due on posting. Life has a way of flying by. Especially when you are really busy or having a lot of fun. I’ve been doing a lot of both but I also have started doing one thing (religiously) every Thursday.

If you know me, you know I am constantly moving or contemplating my next move or moving in autopilot mode.

When did this happen? For me, I have always been like that but more so when my daughter was thrown into the mix. I wouldn’t have it any other way but time seriously does fly by. So I’m building my empire and selflessly mothering a toddler and the list goes on. But what about Me? What about Stephanie? What about MY “me time”? Thing is….my “me time” is usually while I’m in the shower. I’ve never thought much of it. I just go without thinking and end up running myself into the ground with this incredible urgency to escape from time to time. But escape from what? It took my first class at Yoga One to realize that I didn’t need an escape. I needed to come home…to me…to myself. My brother and sister have been into fitness (and yoga) for quite some time. I, on the other hand, always talked about wanting to try yoga or get my butt in the gym but never created the time…. until Shannon Wiseman crossed my path. She and I go way back and we haven’t spoken in years but when we did in September, she had this energy about her that was contagious. She is a yoga instructor and that woman set me UP. She told me where to be and what time and stayed on top of me…not in an annoying way but in a genuine way that I warmly welcomed.

So I no longer work on Thursdays. I now go to her yoga class every Thursday at noon at Yoga One in Plazamidwood. (And take the day to tackle other things as well but mainly for that…along with my little one’s dance class.)

A huge part of wanted to take this on alone. Usually I would be begging a friend to tag along but this time was different. So every Thursday for about 7 weeks now, I go to her yoga class. (I actually went to my first 6am class this past Monday. What a way to start my day)

The experiences  I have every class are different but a few things I love about this particular place are:

Everyone is on the same playing field as you…no matter how advanced he or she may be… no one is better than the other and everyone has the aura about them that is incredibly warm and welcoming.

Shannon doesn’t ONLY coach you through the positioning of your body…she coaches you through our worst enemy screaming at us that we can’t do it…our mind.

I’ve learned to focus on my breathing and find that if I do that, my body does the rest on its own.

I am IN the MOMENT. With every exhale, I can start over. “Clear my space.” I am where I am supposed to be and I am enough.

I move with intent and integrity….inside and outside the studio.

I open myself to failure, shaking and pushing my predetermined limits my mind made for me and I grow from it all….every time.

I’ve noticed I have felt the urge to cry several times….the physical tension within us is a reflection of something much deeper. Like an onion, I’m peeling myself layer by layer…

When it’s over, I’m soaked in sweat and I feel cleansed and even energized. I’ve always heard that exercise is supposed to give you energy. I never felt that way in my years of spastically working out until now. I could fly.

I could go on and on but the bottom line is is I found that splinter in my brain that I couldn’t pinpoint.

After my first session, I wrote about it in my journal. Here’s some of what I wrote:

“…..When I’m not pushing my pain, I feel my worst. Pain brings out the best in me. I’ve learned to embrace the pain by concentrating solely on my breathing. Fall into it with grace and confidence and sometimes even a smile. I push the pain which makes me tremble. I sweat the pain from my pores. I exhale it from my lungs. I trust myself to catch me when I fall. I trust my pain will take me deeper. I trust my pain will fade away. I trust that I was never in pain to begin with. I was afraid. I was asleep. I was lost. Pain is beauty behind an illusion of a mask. Uncover pain. Unleash it. Release it. Reveal it. Run towards it. Fall for it. Love it back. Let it love you……..Breathing sets me free while simultaneously centering me.”

Needless to say, yoga is more than a physical workout for me. It’s mediation in motion and if you just trust yourself and let go….you would truly be amazed at where you discovered yourself in the midst of your breath.

I had my best friend Suzanne take photos of me for the first 4 weeks just to visually see my progress. The last photo was from last Thursday…that’s the one and only Shannon, my yoga instructor, and myself. (duh)

img_8682img_9230img_9510shannon

Thank you for showing me the door Shannon. I’m a better ME for walking through it.

Namaste, love and light, and thank you!

Stephanie (yogi bear)

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