Yoga can mean a lot of different things for each individual person. That is actually some of the beauty that lies in yoga - the ability to mean and be powerful to us in different ways. We each have our own experiences with yoga every time we practice. Some days we feel like we can fly after an hour, or even just 20 minutes, of yoga. Some days yoga is the one thing that can turn a day around. Somehow we always manage to walk out of a yoga class feeling like a new person.
It is actually quite interesting how something that can bring us so much calmness and mindfulness into our busy lives, can come from something that can be both physically and mentally straining. The yoga classes that really push you can really be a crazy experience - especially when you are like me and first thought that yoga could never be a "proper" workout.
When you are in a pose and your muscles start to shake and ache, then there are two things that keep you going. First is your mat. Your mat is your support, it's the element that protects your wrists, your knees, even your arms and head during inversions. Your mat is the foundation for your practice. This is your personal spot where you get to let loose, breathe and move freely. Let that foundation make you feel strong, supportive and free to move. And then do yourself a favor and make sure that it has a great grip even during sweaty classes - choose a natural rubber mat and you are off to a great start.
The second thing that keeps you strong in your practice, is your mind. It surprised me immensely and still does today, how mentally demanding yoga can be. Yoga is an art of movement, breath and mental strength to hold some poses even though you feel like your body must give-in. Obviously not all yoga is like this, but some more "power" types really can be. And for those who haven't tried yoga might even be a little concerned now, but I swear it is the greatest feeling. I have never felt stronger than since I started my own yoga practice. It is a completely different kind of strength than what you can find in a gym. It is a physical and mental strength that you can take with you, even after you leave the studio.
Do something good for that beautiful body and move today! Whether it be going on a walk, a workout, yoga or even some stretching on the floor of your living room. Just move that beautiful body and feel alive!
Love and light!