This image is from Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison
Get it on Amazon here.
My yoga journey has been almost as long as my massage journey. I began doing yoga in 2004. I was newly licensed as an MT and I was in some pretty significant pain from using my hands incorrectly and of course general over use from "breaking them in"- so to speak. I went from doing a few massages a week at school to working ten hour days and having back to back clients. My wrists felt stiff and fragile and my lower back was twisted and inflamed.
Yoga class seemed to be the perfect answer to healing my physical pains.
It seemed like I couldn't get enough massage to fix the issues I was having and my work schedule wasn't easing up at all so I enrolled in a beginners yoga class at a local yoga studio. I remember the class as being VERY beginner friendly, which I was thankful for because I didn't know any of the postures or poses. They were very foreign and sometimes I felt silly and clumsy.
I moved forward to faster classes at my gym but felt it hard to connect to any pose. I began feeling pain in my legs and wrists. My neck was crooked and I wasn't able to catch my breath. The class was definitely a cardio work out but left me in more pain than I came in with so I stopped going.
A few more years went by and I tried to create a home practice but it just wasn't working out. My husband and I moved to the Lakewood area of Dallas and I soon found a studio that changed my life. Seriously.
I was walking my dog around the little "downtown" area, when I saw this little hole in the wall yoga studio. I walked in and started looking for a class schedule TOTALLY unaware that a small intimate yoga class was going on right behind me. The yoga instructor, who eventually became a sort of mentor to me, calmly said " Can I see your puppy?" I turned around to see that I had interrupted the class, but I felt so at home there.
I began taking the "explore your body" classes with Michelle. We used self massage techniques for the first part of the class and then went in to a meaningful asana (pose) practice. Some of the classes were so hearth felt, they left me in tears. I was in heaven.
I took the yoga teacher training and went on to complete 500 hours. It was one of the best decisions of my life and I know it was also a huge growing period for me.
I learned what true yoga was and I felt it.
I found the picture I posted above in the Meditations from the mat book and It reminded me of what a well thought out practice yoga is. It has something to offer us as complete beings our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual "compartments" are all being taken care of. As you can see, you can use it as a system and it doesn't contradict any religious convictions, you just plug your personal beliefs in to the spiritual areas. Yoga also helps us heal our emotional wounds, it gives us a physical connection and practice that anyone can do. For example, there are chair yoga and restorative classes all the way up to extremely physically demanding ones, and it allows our mental health to flourish as well.
I always suggest beginning a yoga practice even if it just one or two poses at home or a simple breathing practice.
You may feel silly or clumsy in the beginning, but what you can gain from yoga could be life changing, like it was for me. When I was practicing regularly, I really started feeling like the best version of myself. I hope to have a very rich home practice one day- which is why I purchased the book mentioned above. I highly recommend it and find it very inspiring!
Be on the look out for my yoga nidra classes- I hope to be teaching them by the end of 2014. Richard Millers work has been an inspiration to me and I look forward to training with him and his team this summer in Austin.
"iRest Yoga Nidra, one of the principal programs offered by IRI, is a research-based transformative practice of deep relaxation and meditative inquiry that:
This was taken from http://www.irest.us
Find a comfy spot and experience a free 20 or 30 min. Yoga Nidra practice right now
If you gave the free MP3 practice a try, tell me what you liked about it in the comments below!
I love hearing your feedback.
Gaia Bodywork PLLC is the private massage practice of Hillary Arrieta LMT040051 and is located in Richardson, TX. Hillary offers the best massage services in the area for pain and stress management. Visit Gaiabodywork.com for more information.
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Dallas Massage Blog is a written journal about Massage Therapy, Wellness, and Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage in the Dallas, Texas area.