I forgot to bring my sunglasses on my walk. I didn’t even think of them until the sun was blinding me and I reached into my bag and couldn’t find them. I made an excuse to myself that I was in a hurry to leave home but what mattered was that I didn’t have what I needed in that moment.
The way I avoid this in my life is to pack my things ahead of time. I prepare a lunch for the next day when I get home from work and have more open-ended time instead of cramming it in at the last second when I’m in a hurry to leave the next morning. In the same way my yoga and meditation practice is my way of packing ahead for life.
When I take classes at Maha I am packing what I need before I need it – ways to de-stress, re-center and gain endurance, balance and flexibility. Every class is an opportunity to bring something with me for the future. If I have trouble figuring out a pose it’s a chance to pack body knowledge into my muscles to build on the next time. If I struggle to catch my breath in a challenging pose I’m training my brain to breathe deeper when challenges arise.
These skills have already helped me both on and off the mat. I can see the incremental improvements in my stability, confidence and sense of grace when I practice yoga. I also notice that it doesn’t take me as long to remember to take a deep breath when something stressful happens in my day. The best part is that these things I’m gaining weigh nothing to carry and I’ll always have them with me. I’m thankful for this “pack” of tools that yoga has given me.
Questions for reflection:
What skills do you already have in your “pack” of yoga and mindfulness? (Examples: mindfulness, strength, awareness, breathing techniques)
What skills do you hope to “pack” with you the next time you practice yoga?
How can you make more connections between these skills and your everyday life?
This article was provided by Katie Pizziketti as part of a new monthly series, Attitude for Gratitude, in which Katie will explore using gratitude to cultivate a mindful and positive active lifestyle. Join Katie for practice on Sundays at 12:30pm.
Yoga is a treasured part of Katie’s fitness lifestyle. She uses it to build strength, flexibility, and body awareness which complement her interests in running, weight training, and interval exercise. Katie is using yoga to improve her range of motion and wellbeing in ways which were missing from her other exercise routines.
Katie developed an appreciation for accessibility – creating things that can be used by people of any ability level – after several years of working with adults living with serious mental illnesses and other limitations. Her belief is that almost anything can be achieved with the right attitude (and modifications). She loves helping people find their own doable pose that is just the right amount of difficult. Her high-energy classes focus on becoming stronger and stretchier with a smile!
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