Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ladies Who Lotus

My relationship with yoga has recently transformed, morphing from something that was once a rare and casual encounter to a practice that is seriously steady. And this relationship offers an equal exchange. I show up to my mat and reap many benefits in return.

I wanted to connect with friends on the subject and asked them to send photos in their favorite poses and/or snipits of why they yoga.

Lotus Pose

Crane Pose

Despite my on-again-off-again love affair with the practice, yoga is one of the things I am most grateful for. This is because yoga:

* helps me practice patience, something I sorely need to work on.

* allows me to improve my flexibility - not only physically, but in how I interact with others and react to the world around me.

* makes me feel sexy. It's time to focus on how my body feels and how my breath moves through it, which makes me feel alive. And I think we can all agree that vitality is sexy.

* energizes me when I'm tuckered out.

* calms me when I'm wired, especially before bed.

* provides me with time to reconnect with myself and set intentions.

* improves how I feel about my body. This is partly because, let's face it, yoga does help tone the bod, and who doesn't want a yoga butt? But it also gives my body the opportunity to do some pretty cool stuff, and that helps me refocus my inner monologue. I can shift from concerns mostly about appearance to being proud of what my body is able to accomplish.

* is portable. I am a travel nut, and I don't have to worry about finding the right equipment or studio. Having a mat is ideal, but really all I need is myself.

Triangle Pose

I agree wholeheartedly with Olivia on the variety of benefits that yoga provides. I'll add that yoga helps me manage and prevent stress of the body and mind. It engages me to be mindful and present and to breathe deeply. It is my "me" time.

Tree Pose

I really enjoy meditating, preferably in the morning. It's hard for me to get into a deep meditative state while seated indian style on the floor at 6 in the morning though. I just end up falling back asleep! ;) With this pose I find that I'm able to concentrate. In the beginning its mostly so that I don't fall! Once I make it through that I can get into a deeper state of concentration. Physically I find that this pose helps me to elongate slowly and wake my body up in a thoughtful and gentle manner. I usually start on my right leg because I have better balance. By the end of it both my mind and body are awake and ready to face the day!

Why do you yoga? Add your favorite pose in the comments section!


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

I recently did an epic yoga post that you may enjoy, thanks for this post of yours!

Jen said...

Thanks Averie! Your yoga post is great and chock full of important information! I can appreciate your recommendation for newcomers to do some classes before starting DVDs. When I first started yoga I had been doing some of the poses wrong and going to classes helped correct them.

PS. Loved your DVD recommendations, music lists, and that you mentioned the free iTunes podcasts that are available!