A few months ago, I had the opportunity [along with the rest of you beautiful people] to participate in a yoga centered CHAARG campaign [#CHAARGOM] + I can honestly say it changed my life.
Coming from a background of cardio + weights — stretching was foreign territory to me. I’ve never been the flexible type [flexability = the ability to flex — #amiright], so yoga was always something I wanted to try – it just seemed a little beyond my reach + a bit out of my comfort zone. The CHAARG OM challenge gave me the opportunity to do a lot of self-reflecting + to finally give yoga a shot. ++ I am so incredibly happy I did.
Yoga not only brought a change to my body, but to my mind + soul. Yoga changed my perspective. What makes it so powerful is that yoga is something that requires you to slow down. Unlike most other exercises that can make you think HARDER + HEAVIER + FASTER = BETTER, yoga requires you to focus + breathe + relax. It doesn’t force you to your limits, it asks. Asks you to stretch a little bit farther, to breathe a little bit deeper. ++ it rewards you by showing you that your body can build beautiful shapes + do amazing things you never thought possible.
YOGA HAS SHOWN ME THAT LIFE + THE QUALITY OF OUR JOURNEY THROUGH IT IS DEPENDENT ON A BEAUTIFUL, SYMBOLIC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MIND + BODY. EACH BENEFITS + REINFORCES THE OTHER. ONE CANNOT TRULY LIVE WITHOUT THE OTHER, JUST AS OUR PRACTICE CANNOT REACH ITS FULL POTENTIAL WITHOUT A CONNECTION BETWEEN THE TWO. YOGA DEPENDS ON THE ABILITY TO EMBRACE THE BODY’S WHIMS — HOW IT CHANGES DAY TO DAY.
We see the mind as being #inCHAARG most of the time. Yoga encourages us, not only to quiet the mind, but to teach the mind to be more sensitive to the body’s changes. Sometimes our bodies take off-days that don’t fit in our schedule. We find it easier to ignore these signs — to push through pain + exhaustion + stress. The mind tells up “KEEP GOING.” We need to take these opportunities to listen — to embrace — to forgive. Our bodies forgive us for the many, many things we put it through — sometimes we need to return the sentiment.
Through the things I’ve experienced in my yoga practice, I have learned to appreciate my body – to be proud of my body. For all the things it can + cannot [yet] do. Just like every trip to the mat – every trip to the gym is different. Just because you can’t do what you succeeded in yesterday doesn’t mean you’ve lost it. Our bodies can do hard things – amazing things. But, they can’t do ALL these things ALL at once – EVERY day. Remember that next time you find yourself frustrated at the gym, or during a run, or on your mat, or when you want MORE from yourself. Take a deep breath + move on + thank your body for what it has already given you.
If you haven’t had the chance to read Teresa’s poem about her body – DO IT. Such an inspiration. There are so many things we take for granted in this world + the one thing responsible for carrying us through it should not be one of them. Learn to appreciate + love + respect your body.
++ if you’ve been inspired to take a chance on yoga, here is a great 30 day beginner challenge + you could always check out the lovely Shauna Harrison on Instagram [@shauna_harrison]! Share with us your yoga journey by tagging @CHAARG + #CHAARGom in your posts. Namaste : )
+Alexa [@lexx_inCHAARG], VirtCHAARG Girl From Cincy