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Natural Awakenings Spokane WA/Coeur d'Alene ID

Drop and Give Me Zen

Nov 14, 2017 04:05PM
I used to hate yoga. There, I said it. My idea of exercise was amping up my heart rate, sweating as much as possible and listening to loud music with a good beat as I bounced, lunged and worked it. Yoga did not fit into this framework, and seemed like an ‘activity’ for thin, flexible, spiritual types or celebrities—definitely not for me.

That paradigm shifted when I attended my first real yoga class. It was spring 2014, and I was in Rochester, Minnesota (of all places!) with my sister and mom, who was prepping for her second open-heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic. My sister, Shannon, who practices yoga regularly, introduced me to the studio and said it was hot yoga and it brought on a good sweat. “A good sweat? Oh, I’m in,” I said to myself. Arriving at the studio with my discount yoga mat, I felt insecure and intimidated. “Maybe I don’t belong here?” I thought. And then I met the instructor, Anthony.

His classes that week changed my entire life. That’s a bold statement, I know, but I’m not exaggerating. His heart-centered style of guiding the class, meditative postures, the music, the movements, connecting with my own breath and my own essence, was powerful. I cried at the end of every class that week and just let the tears flow, since they blended in nicely with the sweat running down my face. I accessed an inner ‘church’ that I never knew existed, and I didn’t wanted to leave that place. He told me that yoga is meant to help each person discover their own inner strength and love and guidance. Mission accomplished.

And now, I’m sure you have guessed, I love yoga. This issue is dedicated to your unique and individual practice—even if that’s simply sitting at your desk and taking 10 deep, meditative breaths. Check out Danielle Cannon’s article on how yoga is meant for everyone, as well as Yoga Kim’s article on the physical exercise aspect of the practice and doing what works for you and your body. You will also find a local yoga studio directory, and I encourage anyone who feels intimidated about yoga to to try a class, like I did.

Other highlights of November include transformative travel, silent retreats, CBD oil for pets and a local article from meditation queen Cyndi Rai on putting away your phone and embracing the silence, as well as a nourishing Japanese-inspired bone broth recipe from Lise Takashina.

This November, the month that we officially celebrate Thanksgiving, I am thankful for you, dear readers and friends, and for this incredible journey we are all on together.

Namaste, and happy yoga-ing,

Amber

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