After just surviving one of the biggest snowstorms I have seen in North Carolina in a long time, I have a new appreciation for my yoga practice. Since there was no school or work and the roads were covered in snow, I began to develop a little cabin fever. When I needed to warm up and move a little, I would roll out my yoga mat right beside of the fireplace and practice. Many of my yogi friends posted great pictures on social media of them taking their practice out in the snow. When the studio finally opened again, one of my students told me that she had done her own home practice for the very first time since she was missing her classes. All of these things made me feel so fortunate to be able to practice and teach something that people can enjoy and feel safe doing with a group or on their own anywhere they go.
Yesterday I taught a yoga class in our local coffee shop, GloryBeans CoffeeHouse, while accompanied by the most beautiful music by Jackie Moseley. People were coming in and out and the coffee machines were rumbling and roaring, but the music and the poses kept us present and created joy and peace inside of me.
There are every day moments that can send me into a mini-panic mode, so it is a comfort to know that I can step away to the restroom or go sit in my car and close my eyes and breathe slowly in and out of my nose the same way I would bring myself into the moment at the beginning of a yoga practice. When I re-enter the world or the stressful scenario, I feel stronger from the inside and more in control of my words and actions.
Yoga is a lifestyle. Once you have discovered how wonderful it feels to breathe with awareness, move your body in all directions and experience the empowerment of holding a pose longer than your mind wanted you to, you will want to do it everywhere everyday.
For me, a yoga mat has become the freezing snow, the sparkling sand, the crisp green grass, the hiking trail, the living room floor, the elementary school gym, the church fellowship hall, the mess hall of a juvenile detention center, the country clubhouse, the lake house dock and the couches at the local cancer center. Luckily, as our culture becomes more familiar with yoga and the benefits of it, you will get fewer stares when you break out a yoga posture in the most unexpected of places. Make your yoga practice and your life your own and take it wherever you go.