The Key to Yoga Bliss? A Regular Home Practice

The benefits to practicing yoga are becoming more well known.  The list of yoga goodness ranges from the physical benefits of increased flexibility, coordination, and strength.  As well as mental/emotional  benefits including reduction of stress,  improvements of resilience, mood, and even relief from depression.  Some practitioners also report  a deepening in a spiritual connection.

Until recently, there has not been any hard scientific data to support these claims.  The journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports on the efficacy of all of the beneficial claims of practicing yoga.  The most amazing report I came across was entitled Frequency of Yoga Practice Predicts Health.  The conclusions drawn from this report are that “home practice of yoga predicted health better than years of practice or class frequency. Frequency of home practice appears to be very important—more important than how long an individual has been practicing or how many classes one takes.”

I’ve been a yoga teacher for over ten years now.  I’ve taught weekly classes, weekend workshops, as well as private one on one sessions.  Although I enjoy the energy and community of the weekly classes and workshops,  I have witnessed the greatest  transformations when I’ve worked with private clients to guide them through the process of creating a lifelong home practice.   By working one on one with clients, I am able to design home practices that addresses each client’s specific needs.  By addressing their specific needs and through establishing a daily practice, my private clients experience all the juicy, yoga goodness.  Once you begin to see the transformative effects of yoga, you are hooked! Yoga becomes a part of you and your practice becomes a daily habit.

If you’ve been going to regular yoga classes and are waiting to feel that yoga bliss, your key may be adding a daily home practice, one that resonates with you and addresses your own personal intentions.

A New Journey

If you haven’t noticed,  I have not posted in quite some time.  I have many blogs started, but not finished.  I love to write, but when I’ve attempted to write lately, I’ve felt very stuck.  Nothing would flow.  I could not get the thoughts and feelings from my head and heart to translate properly onto paper.  So I’ve done a whole lot of starting and stopping over the past several months.  I didn’t want to share anything that wasn’t authentic.

In the quiet moments of my yoga practice, the answer to why I couldn’t write was answered.  I couldn’t write because I haven’t been being honest about who I am and where I want to be.  It’s just not enough anymore to teach the occasional yoga workshop, or blog intermittently about the life-changing effects yoga has had on my life and the life of those around me.  It’s not enough to be a part-part time yoga teacher. I want more.  I want WAY more!  I feel it deep down in my depths of my soul.

During my family’s annual New Year’s Eve puja and intention setting ceremony this year, the quality that I wanted to get rid of that was not serving me was procrastination.  I realized that I could continue to come up with every excuse to avoid creating my own yoga business, but that would be ignoring the voice inside me begging me to more forward.  As I let go of procrastination, I set my intention for the year 2013.  On my intention card, I wrote the following words:

“I am happy and grateful now that I have developed a yoga home study program and am able to help  everyday women live more peaceful, more purpose-filled lives through the practice of yoga, meditation, and mindful living.  I am happy and grateful that I am being compensated for my yoga teaching and writing.”

Amazingly, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”  Opportunities began showing up that  will allow me to network with amazingly strong, women entrepreneurs to help guide me along this journey of making my yoga dream business a reality.  Words are not big enough to describe my excitement and fear as I move into this very uncomfortable space.  But I know enough to know that in that space of discomfort lies our biggest opportunities for growth.

I hope you will join me on this new journey as I begin to build my dream business.  I look forward to sharing my inner thoughts and feelings along the way  in hopes that it connects with you in some small (or big!) way.

Namaste,

Lisa “The Yogini Next Door”

Out of the Darkness and Into the Light

The world did not end today, so now what?

Much has been written about the end of the Mayan calendar, much of it misunderstanding and rumor and even some humorous!  What many can agree on, however,  is that we are on the cusp of a a huge shift in energy and consciousness. Today is the Winter Solstice which energetically brings us forth from the darkness of our past into the beautiful light of our future.  This  Solstice season, coupled with the end of the Piscean Age, is doubly powerful.

Symbolically this is important for me.  I have spent the past several years trying to dig myself back from a darkness.  Personally,  I have struggled with being able to pull myself forward out of the dark.

As a family, we experienced heart-wrenching devastation at the height of the financial and housing crash.  And although we made it through, the scars have not totally healed.  Going through something personally is tough, going through it with children to care for and protect is crushing. (At the time,  my kids were 5, 7, and 10. )   Through it all, my children saw me smile as I kept up as normal of a life as I could.  I would wait to break down and cry at night when they were asleep.    I didn’t want to them to be affected by what was happening to us.   I was honest with them, though, and they were aware of our circumstances.  But I never allowed them to feel the magnitude of my fear and devastation.

A few years have passed since then,  and we are putting our financial lives back together.  The biggest challenge is forgiving the past and moving forward.  We’ve all heard the saying that you can’t move forward with a foot stuck in the past.  Easy to say, but when the scars are deep, it takes time and some personal work to heal.

I am at a point now where I can feel gratitude for our struggles because they made me who I am today.  I believe I am a more compassionate and empathetic yoga teacher and life-coach because of what I’ve gone through.  It’s hard to help others through struggles if you yourself have not struggled.

Which brings me back to the Solstice.  So, what does Winter Solstice have to do with my story and yours?

The Winter Solstice is a time of rebirth.  It carries an energy of forgiving the past and moving forward and starting anew with renewed commitment.  This is an amazing gift.

This is a great time to start a meditation, yoga, or gratitude practice.  These practices will help guide you out of the darkness and into the light.

May we all be wrapped in the loving light of the season.  Peace and blessings to us all as we expand forward on this journey.

Namaste,

Lisa