I used to hate yoga. When I write that I hated yoga, what I mean is that I honestly did not know how to be still or quiet my mind. Adult ADHD will do that. My first experience was yoga at the YMCA and it was a flow that left us in positions that I felt like were agony to hold as my arms and legs would shake and I was constantly worried about farting in class especially in downward dog or happy baby or watching the clock and getting pissed off that only three minutes had passed since the last time I had checked.
As I began to feel the benefits of deep stretching and mostly embracing Shavasana, which is at the end of class where you lay in corpse pose on your back, your arms out to the sides, shoulders relaxed, legs straight and relaxed and you remain there for a while and I would find myself breathing deeply, relaxing, and often praying and mostly just feeling grateful, I found that I did like being still.
I began to move away from the workout aspects as I became more and more flexible, but never attended yoga regularly. I would go to workshops and I would go to the studio Half Moon Yoga and found that this was my place. I couldn’t really afford or adopt the practice of regular yoga, but I sure did love it and I got more out of it for my mind and soul than I did just the body. Robbie, the owner and instructor has such a soothing presence and a beautiful soul. She was just the right fit for me. I’m forever grateful to my friend, Lori, who I often refer to as Loogle because she is better versed than Google in anything and so well connected in our community she can recommend anything to anyone for getting me to Robbie’s classes and workshops. She has been a big part of my life over the years and has researched things for me and been by my side at doctors appointments asking questions I didn’t even know to ask.
It’s hard to describe because a practice is something that is very individual for everyone. As I have learned to meditate and pray through yoga, it has created a stillness and quiet that I never knew that I would need and especially at this point in my life when I have brain cancer. It certainly helped me during my radiation treatments.
Going to the mat has become something that I need daily and it doesn’t always lift my spirits, most of the time it does, but sometimes it allows me to feel how I need to feel and the imagery that God grants me at times while on the mat makes me realize that we need to be still and quiet to listen to Him. While I’m there on the mat in a room all alone, He reminds me that I am never alone.
I’m grateful for a friend who took me recently to the studio she goes to, Abundant Yoga as I was reluctant because there are many poses that I cannot do at this time including any straining, forward folds to where my head drops, etc. My balance is off and I have very weak leg muscles. This is new to me because I have always had extremely strong muscles, but I’m being patient with myself. The Be Still – Trauma class was very powerful for me. Amanda, the instructor had such a calming demeanor and we went over my limitations before class. It was very special to be there with my friend, Kandi who has been by my side through the good and bad times for almost ten years and there were people there who have been praying for me and my family. I was very moved by the energy there.
At first, I wasn’t too crazy about the music, I’m not a big modern Christian music fan. I like old school hymns and really, really soulful hymn music while in church, you should hear me bust out into “God Is Trying To Tell You Something”, but I just tried to focus on what I was there for and I love the positions and the long pauses and options. While propped up with my chest resting on a bolster and getting a deep and much needed hip stretch, a song was playing and I thought I can’t wait for this song to end the singer then went into this repeated chorus about “come into my soul, come into my soul” and at that moment, Amanda was behind me and lightly touching me, sending my tense shoulders down, and lightly massaged my back and arms with a fragrant essential oil and the tears rolled down my face as I felt her healing touch and the message from the music. God knew what I needed at that moment even though I was resisting in some ways.
Now that I am unable to drive and at home, I have a yoga practice and I highly recommend Yoga With Adriene http://yogawithadriene.com/
I used to hate any form of exercise at home, but I have come to embrace it more and more and what I have learned is that being still, quieting the mind even if for just a few moments, it allows me to let in what I need. Sometimes I smile when my time on the mat has ended and sometimes I lay in a fetal position and cry my eyes out. But, no matter what emotions I have, I always feel better after. That has been a constant.
The studios I mentioned: