Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mindbody Fitness is My Saving Grace

A client recently asked me to share something of my journey in Mindbody Fitness. Like many of you reading this right now, I have had somewhat of a close relationship with pain. For me it was an ordinary but unrelenting form of back pain…the lower back sort of thing that makes you hold on when you try to get up from a chair, and squiggle around a lot when you’re forced to sit still. Doctors said "surgery" as I winced and rallied to find any other option. I had heard that yoga could open a person up to some life altering experiences. I also knew that there was a mental component to the practice… I just didn’t think I’d get to the pain-free zone by standing on my head or drinking herbal tea.

Skeptically, I began my journey with a weekend workshop. The first of my teachers was from India and he – was – masterful! As he invited the class to breathe, he said to me (off handedly, mind you) that the breath I was taking was called survival breathing. Yup, just enough to keep me from dropping dead when I took my mind off it!

Now, there’s an interesting thought…it felt reassuring on some level to have the awareness that I had a choice in the matter. It dawned on me that the practice of conscious breathing, ”pranayama” as I later learned, was actually the relationship we have with life energy, and that I had the possibility, indeed the invitation, to become a conscious, awake and aware partner with LIFE itself! At the time, the very idea of such a point of reference was a completely unique experience.

Over time I began to stretch out and breathe in, and as I released resistance, the most amazing thing happened. The pain began to shift, to pulse, to dim, and then fade. It was a quiet transition, a light, gentle breeze, but I recognized it when it happened. I was hooked! That moment of realization changed my life direction. I found the study of infinite possibilities to be inside of…ME! I switched my area of study from mind, to bodymind and set out on a journey learning how to live.

My life work has changed dramatically since that first introduction. I took bold steps into the unknown and created the career of my dreams. I had to let go of people and beliefs that stood in the way. I had to look crazy to some, unrealistic to others. I certainly had to withstand the tests that were planted firmly on the path, but my pain is gone, my children are safe, and in 30 years of practice, I’ve come up with some interesting insights from a life that continues to be well lived.

1. Wherever you go, there you are (you’ve heard this before) and there is nothing more important in life than getting to know yourself.
2. Breath IS life! Take in as much as you can, and let go with ease.
3. Your thoughts are a choice. So is what you do with them.
4. Make time for miracles. It’s always easier to just open the door than to have it beaten down.
5. Listen to your body. Feelings of peace and well-being will show up as health. Negative or conflicted feelings will manifest in “symptoms.”
6. You each have your own unique genius. You can best access its’ wisdom in the quiet moments, so learn to meditate, and listen up!
7. There is no better than Here - just different.
8. Being is different than Having. You can BE whatever you desire when you simply choose to be.
9. Release your need to understand. You can use technology before you understand how the circuits are wired. It’s the same with yoga. Just do it.
10. Yoga is a practice. Practice makes perfect. Without practice, it’s just a thought, so get in gear and begin your practice now.

Till next time, you can visit me and see my creations at www.yokibics.com. All of the Yoga CDs can help you learn to relax, and my Yokibics Mindbody Fitness Video which takes you from simple movements through a complex series is now available on DVD.

May the road rise to meet you, and the wind be always at your back!

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