Happy Yoga Day! I think the best part of this special day is that it is in international celebration and not just something we do here in the USA. Yoga is done all around the world (and I am so jealous of some of those Instagram yogis). People around the world are finding peace, strength and tranquility in yoga, and not just today but everyday!
By the way…stay tuned for my upcoming YouTube segment called “Wine and Workout”. It will look something like this. You won’t be disappointed. Pour yourself a glass, or grab your bottle, and join me. They always say to have a workout buddy…right?!
Focus. Medin. Focus. When wine gets involved everything gets thrown off! Anyway, I haven’t been a “yogi” for very long – going on about two years, I think. So, you are probably wondering why did I turn to yoga? Why do I do yoga? What is so great about it? Do you have to drink wine to do yoga? Do you have to ohm and make weird noises in yoga? Now, I am not a professional but I do practice.
I have anxiety. I had to find a way to deal with my stress. I heard yoga would help. I heard it would teach me how to breathe again. I have had some very bad back injuries, and I am lucky to be walking, and the injuries have caused me to breathe “funny” or grasp for air. I have several chronic thoracic spinal fractures (T4, T5, and T8) so if you can image the middle of your back and your ribs, and how it all connects and works together, maybe you can image the pain and the struggle as well as the limitations these injuries have caused. I can’t weight lift because of the pain and threshold on my body, especially the aggravation it causes in those areas, and I can’t hold that much weight in my hands or on my shoulders because of my injuries. I can’t hold a lot of weight on my shoulders to do basic strength training moves like shoulder presses and front squats. The spinal specialists and therapists I have worked with over the years basically said my weight limit is a gallon of milk in each hand (obviously my purse weighs more than that) but I obviously want to get stronger. I have been a gymnast and dancer my whole life. I raced snowmobiles (hence the injuries). I can work with my body weight – plank holds and warrior one are “just fine”. I heard yoga would be great for me and it is – minus the twisting.
From these injuries and destroying my body as a gymnast and dancer, and snowmobile racer, all those years, I have had to change the way I workout. Being an athlete and competitive person, plus with my career as fit chick and model, it has been a struggle to find exercise styles that don’t hurt me, insert yoga practice. I mainly had to find an outlet for my anxiety – it is that bad and I won’t take medication and I don’t need a doctor. I just need a yoga mat. Insert yoga practice. I had to find peace on the mat to take myself away from the real world. Insert yoga practice. I had to find a way to shut my brain off for a period of time and “slow down” (I work in motorsports as a reporter/pit reporter/live announcer). Insert yoga practice. I, also, love handstands (if you have seen my “handstands around the world” they are quite the hit and I shared some examples below). Insert yoga practice.
I have toned up a lot from yoga, which has surprised me because I have been a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, as well as a weightlifter, for several years. I didn’t expect to build muscle like I have but holding chair pose isn’t exactly easy. Yoga has taught me to breathe. I have learned to relax. I have learned to focus, and put my my inner self and the important of my well-being first versus my outer self (image, looks, beauty, etc). Yoga has taught me all these great things, and all these great things happened because of yoga. I really like that yoga mat.
I really do enjoy yoga. I am a loud and outgoing person, but I love the quietness, peace and tranquility that being on that mat brings to me. Everyday is different. Everyday I feel different. Somedays, all I have in me is holding child pose. Somedays I want to do handstands and inversions until I am blue in the face. Other moments, just let me Shavasana or downward dog it until the sun goes down and I can follow my practice with wine time.
In the near future, I am looking forward to finding practice with yoga and wine, of course! Things like this do exist. Share them with me if you have some hot spots or events I should check out! I am really looking forward to doing yoga around the world. I look forward to getting stronger both mentally and physically as I continue to do yoga. I look forward to allowing yoga to continue to change the way I look, feel and live.
From one yogi to another – namaste. Yoga will transform your life. I promise. I swear by it. I will leave you here with this great (and funny) quote.