(I was asked to write an article for Max DuBowy and Success Launch about the impact that yoga and meditation has had on my life.)
It is my hope that if you are not already doing Yoga or meditation as part of your self care routine, that you will be inspired to do so after reading this article. Bottom line; yoga and meditation have helped me have a richer, more joy filled and peaceful way to live my life.
Tell us about yourself… Who are you and what’s your background?
I am a passionate lover of life, with a mission to inspire others to live young, live passionately and live with heart through coaching and Youthful Aging products.
It hasn’t always been that way.
During graduate school, I gravitated toward learning what I most needed to heal in myself; my body and emotions. Traditional ways of looking at psychology didn’t resonate to me, so I pursued a Ph.D in Humanistic psychology emphasizing body mind and spirt. All three areas are important, and I was struggling miserably on all three levels.
I became fascinated with not only how to heal myself, I wanted to serve others in their unique transformations to a healthier way of living. With my idealism soaring, I created a business, “Healthy Delights”, bringing healthy foods to fairs and conventions throughout the Western United States.
My vision was cut short when I was assaulted one night and had to sell the business. Yoga played a key role in my healing, and I transmuted my lofty ideals into doing body emotional release work, helping women love and care for themselves.
Forty years later, I am still passionate about serving others on the Path to Radiant Living. I support women who desire to “Take Back Their Lives, to feel healthier, more vibrant and alive again. I know the ups and downs of this journey intimately and love to give back what I have learned.
Yoga Came Into My Life During The Dark Night Of My Soul
During grad school, I became addicted to sugar using it as a stimulant to lead a very chaotic, frenzied life. I hit a wall and became very ill, and almost died. It was at this point I realized I needed a drastic change in how to better care for myself.
At the time, I was unhappy and emotionally stuck, holding onto the pain of a bad break up with a high school sweetheart. My body was terribly imbalanced and unhealthy.
By happenstance while visiting my parents, their window cleaner introduced me to his love of Yoga, giving me a small yoga book as a gift. I began to do the practices regularly.
Doing yoga became my window into myself; to learn, discover and connect with the inner soul of who I was. From the first moment I was hooked. It became a pathway into the best part of myself; my childlike joy.
I will never forget one pose that struck such a deep cord in me at my lowest point. It is called Tree Pose, and I remember saying to myself as I stood twisted with my hands and legs intertwined in one another, “No matter how twisted and turned my outer life, I stay serene.”
I practiced over and over until my life began to unfurl into more lightness. From the inner yoga work my outer life began to transform into more joy.
These poses were a portal into a wonderful new world for me. I brought my awareness inwardly, and by doing so learned to center myself, and connect to a peace, joy and light I didn’t know existed.
The Profound Benefits Of Yoga
I used my yoga practices as a way to get off sugar, marijuana, and the constant mental chatter of my pushing, striving energy, which originated from insecure feelings of never feeling good enough.
Yoga brought me back to myself so profoundly as the path to the inner knowing that I am whole, complete and perfect just how I am. Yoga is not only great for physical flexibility and strength but it is a wonderful way to shed the outer layers of my ego, monkey mind and emotional hangups and tap into the joyful, childlike essence of who I really am.
These benefits are such a gift, and to this day I still get that feeling of calm and love for myself each time I mediate or do yoga.
Yoga was my life saver during challenging times; through 3 miscarriages, a deadly assault where I almost lost my life, through difficult health challenges, and the hectic years of being a mother of two strong willed, powerful young girls.
Recently I have included doing a 10 minute mindfulness practice 4-5 times a week to get more clarity on myself, my life and setting intentions. Meditation bubbles up what need to be seen, or felt, and then I can let it go, coming away refreshed and lighter in my being.
The Negative Spiral Of Falling Off My Yoga Practice
I find that with so many distractions in my life that I can at times, fall off my yoga and meditation practice. When I do, I notice my life feels more dull, unfocused and not as joyful. I am not as grateful and am more anxious about insignificant daily trivialities.
When I catch this going on, I simply take 5 minutes and do some Yoga. I immediately feel more centered and joyful. It’s is easy to do, yet sometimes I resist and feel I don’t have time. This is when I need it the most, as nothing is as important as tapping into the essence of myself and circulating my energy.
What I find most helpful in doing meditation and Yoga in particular is the ability to release stagnant energy physically and then recharge. There is nothing more effective to get me out of my head and feeling the movement and joy of my body, than Yoga. I tend to think too much, stress easily and hold onto emotions and thoughts too long. Yoga stops this pattern quickly.
The 30,000 Ft. View Of Life
Having a Yoga practice gives me a way to take a 30, 000 foot view of my life. I gain perspective on what is truly important and how to let go of 99% of what I hold onto that is not helpful for my sense of joy.
What Can Yoga And Meditation Do For You?
As I was thinking about what I wanted to convey to you, dear reader, how my experience could inspire you to give Yoga a try, I realized that I had let my Yoga practice slip a bit.
I re-committed to include Yoga more often in my day or evening self care. Not out of pressure or demand, rather as a gift I give myself out of love. Even if I only do a few poses for a few minutes, it becomes my life line into the very essence of peace and joy.
Already in just a few weeks, I feel I am coming home to myself, to what is real and sacred within, my childlike joy and playfulness. No words can describe what it feels like to reenergize my body in this way. It goes beyond words, to an experience that is blissful.
A Must For Your “Take Back Your Life” Toolkit
I am so passionate about sharing with others the need to have tools to “Take Back Your Life”. Simple practices to release and reenergize daily. In our fast paced world, we all need ways that work quickly and effectively to rejuvenate our body and mind.
Here is one of my favorite Chi Gong exercises for an instant pick me up, It’s great if you have been sitting to much at your computer, traveling, not getting enough sleep, feeling sluggish or emotionally stressed.
Bounce Your Stress Away
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Relax your whole body and begin to lightly bounce in place with your knees slightly bent. Allow your arms and body to move freely to the rhythm as you bounce. Do this for 3- 4 minutes. In no time, you will have more mental clarity, feel happier and feel alive and vibrant.
Yoga and mediation is a deeply rewarding practice. It is so transformative that words can’t possibly describe how much it can change how you live and breath. It is by far the single most powerful habit that continues to transform my health and mental well being.
It is my hope that my words will light a spark within you and give you inspiration to discover for yourself the pleasure of yoga and simple meditation to feel radiantly alive.
This beautiful quote by William Blake sums up my experience perfectly.
Your soul is waiting…..
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