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An apple a day keeps the doctor away… an asana a day keeps the mind at PEACE

January 9, 2010

As a yoga, spinning, and aerobics instructor, nobody has to tell me that the best medication for mind and body rejuvenation is exercise. It’s what I preach every day to my students, to my friends, to my boyfriend, to my dad, and especially to myself. Nothing gets in my way of a long run outdoors after being hunched over in front of a computer for hours on end – ugh! Who would have thought that sitting and staring at a screen is more tiring than physical activity?

But yoga… such a beautiful thing! After your first few times that is. For all those who practice regularly, remember that first time you were in a downward facing dog? My calves hurt just thinking about it. Funny how practice, practice, and more practice, still doesn’t make perfect, but it sure turns you into an addict! After just practicing yoga for a little over a year, I’ve already become certified to teach and find myself craving this mind-and-body-twisting activity more than chocolate. There’s something so magical about the whole thing. Maybe it’s my purple rubber mat that I’ve found to be my exercise safe-haven; an object where I can balance, fall, and release all wound-up energy and emotion. Or maybe it’s the music which seeps its energy into my poses, or my breath (cliché I know) which links one movement to the next….

If I had to think of one phrase to describe my yoga practice it would be “PEACE! Be still.” As someone who used to think yoga was equivalent to napping, I can relate to those high-strung, fast-paced individuals who sometimes need an abrasive reminder that it’s OK to be still. Sometimes, it may just be the perfect complement to one’s hyper-active lifestyle or any lifestyle! The focus, balance, and purposeful movement that yoga teaches can add rich meaning to any lifestyle, occupation, or situation.

It’s ironic how we go to such extreme, and often tantalizing measures to teach ourselves how to find peace with just being still. Simply going to yoga for the first time is the perfect example. Let’s face it – trying anything for the first time is scary; add a spandex outfit and poses that sometimes take weeks of observing before beginning to understand how to get into and bam – you’ve got yoga! But the reward that comes out of it is breathtaking (literally). With a newfound energy and glowing skin, there’s a good chance you’ll be running back for more.

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