Yoga: Let’s Get it Om.
Just as exercise and diet are important to our overall wellness, so is our mental state. But let’s face it. Life is stressful. Full of competing pressures, troubling headlines, growing traffic lines, looming deadlines, and Sometimes, you just need to STOP!
“Just sit and let your body breathe.” Intones Michelle Johnson, Yoga instructor, to her Flow Yoga class.
“One of the main benefits of yoga,” says Johnson, “is the quieting of the mind and relaxation, and the stress relief, I think that’s a big draw for people, and we’re a stressed out culture and so I think that anything that we can do to get people to be in their bodies and breathe is going to help them in their daily life, because when we breathe and we’re connected we’re more intentional, and we’re more aware”
Michelle’s practice centers on the breath’s capacity to quiet the mind. Breathing in. Breathing out. Moving into the present. “The healing aspects of yoga for the mind, and the spirit, and integration, I think a lot about that,” says Michelle, “yoga as a tool to integrate all these different parts of ourselves that get pulled on in our culture because we’re pretty conditioned to be distracted and so yoga to me means coming home to the body through the breath and letting go of all of the external things.
I think the world would be a really different place if we slowed down, and if we weren’t pulled in so many different directions”
These day’s we’re paying more attention to what we eat, and how much exercise we’re getting, but are we paying enough attention to our mental health?
“Consider the ways that we talk about health which are pretty much focused on diet and nutrition and not the mind.” Says Johnson, “Whatever muscle you’re working with is the one you’re strengthening, and so be mindful about what muscle you’re strengthening. “
“I think that’s really important for people, because if they’re not strengthening the muscle of like self-love or compassion or acceptance, then they’re probably building this muscle of over-efforting or perfectionism, or patterns that just get us into trouble and cause suffering. The practice of yoga, or breathing, or meditating can help people connect their mind to their bodies so they can be their whole selves, their true-selves, and in general going to help them feel more connected and make better decisions in their lives.”
Breath in. Breath out. Namaste.