I hope you are somewhere cozy enjoying this morning with someone special. When you can step back for a bit and spend time with people you love, you get replenished.
I am surrounded by good people. I spend each evening driving home from work with a lovely friend whose company I cherish. My sister has been in town for a few days. She always inspires me and makes me laugh. I have amazing, kind neighbours. I get to chat with so many great people (you!) each week. This fills me.
I have had an easygoing holiday so far. I haven’t felt stressed (I know … what’s up with that?!) It’s still been crazy busy but I’m feeling pretty relaxed. So what is different?
Along with the great people in my life, I attribute it to my practice – yoga, health, personal growth. I’ve been working at it this past year. These things feed me and help create a positive outlook. I’ve been thinking about the all that yoga does for me. And I feel pretty lucky.
Three Gifts of Yoga
Flexibility is the ability to move your muscles and joints through their full range of motion. Yoga stretches muscle fibres and increases the elasticity of connective tissues in your body. This supports you daily and allows you to do the things you want to do. You move more freely. Your body stays supple.
Along with a flexible body, yoga also gifts you with a flexible mind.
“Yoga is a discipline that teaches us new ways of experiencing the world”
By practicing yoga, you learn new ways of connecting with your body. You bring conscious focus to your posture practice. This leads you to discover your limits and accept or push past them. It gives you new awareness. You become willing to consider alternative ideas and perspectives.
Yoga creates space in your body. You have probably heard the cue “lengthen your spine” in a yoga class. Stretching your spine creates space between your vertebrae. This enhances your stability, movement, posture, and the flow of energy throughout your body. Improved posture also creates more space for your vital organs.
On a more subtle level, yoga creates space in your thinking. Focusing on your breath and body helps you break free of habitual patterns of thought. Taking pause reminds you that you have choices. You can investigate new patterns and pathways.
One of the greatest gifts of yoga? It makes you feel good. Santosha is the Sanskrit word for contentment. It is one of the niyamas (core practices) of yoga.
Practice contentment… interesting idea.
We often think of happiness as something to go after. The idea of contentment as a practice suggests that it is something that is always available to you. And that the more you practice it the better you will become at it.
Lao Tzu called contentment “the greatest treasure.” Yoga practice cultivates this inner sense of well-being. That is an amazing gift.
Wishing you a peaceful holiday filled with love, hugs and many belly laughs!