“Mindfulness not only makes it possible to survey our internal landscape with compassion and curiosity but can also actively steer us in the right direction for self-care.”
― Bessel A. van der Kolk
Let’s shift how you feel in your body.
Is your body under pressure? Are you one of the growing percentage of Americans feeling plagued with stress and general fatigue from the day-to-day grind? Or maybe you have been diagnosed with chronic illness or disease which makes ‘feeling uncomfortable in your body,’ the understatement of the century? If so, keep reading.
You’ve probably heard about yoga and mindfulness and how they’re supposed to help you feel better and promote healing. Maybe you’ve even gone to a yoga or meditation class or workshop but haven’t found it all that it’s cracked up to be. Or maybe it feels good during class but as soon as you get home the stress seems to flood back in. Well, you’re not alone.
Yoga and mindfulness have become these buzz words that carry some mysterious power. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a client or student in my class tell me, ‘I’m here because my doctor told me yoga (or meditation) would be good for my *insert condition here*.’ But the problem is that not all yoga and mindfulness classes are going to help you. There, I said it!
In fact, most classes you’ll find on the market are yoga classes that stem from a style of yoga created less than 200 years ago which was designed for gymnasts and bodybuilders! You read that right, the postures and flows you do in a typical vinyasa class were intended to build strength, not relieve stress.
I’m not saying that those types of classes aren’t useful. They can be very good for your body and mind, but it takes hours of practice to prepare the body to feel comfortable in a vigorous class and to notice the benefits that are so often shouted about. The good news is, there’s a better and much easier way. There is a whole different style of yoga that’s designed for calming the nervous system and healing the body. Let’s call this restorative yoga as it’s purpose is to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest system), which is what is needed to release tension, heal the body, and leave you feeling like you’ve recharged.
Quick story. I came to yoga over 10 years ago to help with my own stress and depression. I remember the moment quite clearly. After a trip to the hospital because of a panic attack, though it felt more like my heart was going to explode out of my chest, I decided I needed to re-evaluate my situation. I wanted to learn how to manage my stress but more importantly I wanted to live a more fulfilling life with a positive outlook. So I started taking yoga classes. I practiced mostly slower-moving vinyasa (flow) classes for the first 6 years and noticed some relief, but with all the talk about the wonders of yoga, I expected more.
So I took up a daily meditation practice and upon a friend’s recommendation committed to going to restorative classes instead of my usual vinyasa classes. Within months my experience completely changed. I was fortunate to find a wonderful meditation teacher, who I still see privately every month and a couple of very talented restorative teachers with whom I attended classes regularly and trained with. After the first year of this routine, I not only felt better, I felt like a different person altogether.
Now, I still do teach public classes because I enjoy the community that yoga studios create, but if you’ve attended one of my classes, you’ll know that the focus is not on getting a workout or moving through a unique flow matched to some groovy beats. In my class, I intend to create an environment for students to feel open and receptive to listening to the communications of their body so that they may better encourage a state of ease and balance within their body.
What I want to share with you is the work I do privately with individuals who are stressed or are dealing with a chronic illness. My intention is to give you the skills needed to encourage healing within your body. Every session is completely tailored for your body and mind. I’m not just here to lead you through a Simon Says yoga class,*inhale as you reach your arms overhead. Exhale, fold forward.* I want to empower you to feel comfortable and confident to make meditation and yoga a part of your life so that you can see the same benefits I’ve experienced for yourself! Sessions with me involve a blend of mindfulness, breathwork, restorative postures, and if desired, reiki hands-on healing.
If you’re still reading this, send me an email or follow the link below to set up a time for a free phone call to ask me any questions you have before starting along the path of healing.
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