January is a great month for getting into (or back to) a yoga practice. When you step onto your mat you may alter a lot more than your waist circumference… if you’re like me (and so many others) you just may find that yoga changes — or even saves — your life. Maybe your practice will just give you the courage to try bright purple nail polish (non-toxic of course), or maybe it will give you the strength to take down cancer. In my case, it made all the difference for both. Here are a dozen ways yoga turned my life upside down:
1) Before yoga, I refused to go for a pedicure. Yes, that’s right: I had a severe case of pedicure phobia. But yoga changed all that. Hanging out in bare feet for hours (and sometimes being asked to place them on another practitioner for a partner pose) made me give in to fancy feet (though it’s certainly not a requirement!).
2) Wardrobe makeover. Yoga completely changed my wardrobe, which previously consisted of blacks, purples, jeans, and more blacks. Today, since I am a Kundalini yoga teacher (a yoga style that prefers its practitioners to show up in white) my wardrobe is mainly white, white, and more white (yes, even after Labor Day). Jeans? I’d rather wear comfy yoga pants or leggings.
3) Confidence. We work a lot on the navel center, the core area or third chakra, which builds our will power, confidence, and resolve. Maybe you think that’s a bunch of hocus pocus, but since I’ve been practicing yoga I’ve done a lot of things I’d never considered doing before, like teaching a class, for instance, or getting up in front of a room full of people to speak.
4) Optimism. But not Pollyanna optimism — more like trust. In the past, I walked on the dark side, always expecting the worst. I even thought if I imagined the worst it would not happen. Yoga taught me the opposite — that trust and visions of success and happiness are much more likely to manifest when one focuses on positive possibilities instead of worst-case scenarios. Continue reading >>