Part 4 of 4
Step 3 – practice yoga. This is a very specific suggestion and I make it from a place of experience. Through my own yoga practice I have found a deep level of happiness that eluded me before I began yoga almost seventeen years ago. I came to yoga for my spine and I stayed for my life!!
One thing I love about yoga is that it meets you where you are… when I started I had spent years in debilitating back pain and yet I discovered I could move in ways that felt freeing and empowering. Suddenly I was able to do other activities and my life started to look, and feel, better. If you have tried yoga and did not like it, find another teacher or style you might prefer. You know you have found a good fit for you when you look forward to going, you love the teacher’s voice, your body is happy after the class and you have an over-riding sense of calm for hours or days. For the first seven years of my practice I owned two yoga videos which I loved and used almost daily, it was all we could afford and I encourage you to explore DVDs, CDs or books that resonate with you.
Yoga is a progressive practice which means you may begin feeling unable to do anything but in a short amount of time, perhaps a single class, you will notice changes in your body and mind that feel radical. The term ‘practice’ reminds us that this is all it ever is…a practice; no matter how many years you go to your mat, it is impossible to master yoga!! Each moment in yoga is unique and perfect; connected to, but separate from, every other moment.
When your body is healthy and your mind at peace, when your life reflects your heart and your values, there you will find happiness.
If you are like me and struggle to do the things that you know will help you to feel better perhaps you will gain benefit from one last tool I have used over the years. I put a list of ten habits I want to cultivate on my bathroom mirror (or my car steering wheel or on the kettle) and my daily goal is to do three. Yes, three. My habits have ranged from the expected (but challenging when dealing with depression), eat an apple, shower, get dressed, cook dinner, leave the house, to the more demanding yoga, meditate, write. Start where you are and be kind to yourself. Perhaps the next time you hear Bobby McFerrin singing “don’t worry, be happy”, you will know just how to do that.
PS – Please check back; I am building my yoga pages to include some of my favorite poses and practices.