I’ve recently discovered a love of yoga. Roll your eyes all you like – I was skeptical of the practice too! I live in Vancouver where yoga pants have become synonymous with the image of a local woman, somehow. I’m one of those people who becomes skeptical when large groups of people fall absolutely in love with one thing. But after giving it a try, I’ve been converted – I love yoga.
I wasn’t interested in yoga for many years because it didn’t seem that strenuous. I enjoy pilates, but I envisioned yoga as a less challenging version of pilates. Boy was I wrong! Yoga is dynamic, and the best teachers are supportive and reflective. It’s a wonderful practice, and I will certainly continue.
Last night I attended a really wonderful class. I’ve been stressed at work, and people are starting to get sick all around me, and so I’ve been avoiding physical activity in exchange for sleep and rest. But a friend convinced me to attend our yoga class last night, and I’m so glad that I did.
The instructor emphasized that we give away our power in different forms all day. When people are stressed around us, we mobilize, and we move faster. When a situation arises, we assess, make plans, and execute. We’re very giving of our time and energy – particularly in the workplace. But it’s important to realize that you need to do things that bring you power also. It’s not about reclaiming your strength – because you should give of yourself freely – but you should put yourself into situations that bring power to you, and you alone.
When you commit to going for a run, taking a yoga class or skiing for a few hours, those moments are meant to bring you joy and freedom. They’re moments that you create for you alone, and that’s powerful.
You earn money all day that you ultimately distribute to different parties. You may deal with situations that affect others more than you. Certainly each conversation you have at work is an exercise of giving your time away to someone else. But you need to commit time that can only be spent on yourself – you deserve it.
Before saying goodbye, my class instructor asked us to sit up one more time with our shoulders back. She joked that she wasn’t asking us to sit with our shoulders back because that’s yoga gospel, but because it’s a reminder of your body’s intrinsic power. You have chosen to sit with your shoulders back, which lengthens your spine. You control your body, and every action is a choice.
Make sure that you take some time that’s just for you. Whether that means physical activity, reading for pleasure, or sitting perfectly still on a park bench and admiring the view, commit to doing something that brings power and strength to you.