Preparing your yoga space can be just as important as the practice itself. There is a sense of serenity that comes with creating a clean and beautiful sanctuary for yourself. I like to start my morning by making my bed. For some reason this small little chore that only takes a couple of minutes is surprisingly relaxing and gets me in the mood to get my day started. Then I make my way into the kitchen to have my morning coffee or tea with my husband. I have a few nice quiet moments with him as we wake up together and get ready for the day.
I struggled for a long time with the concept of “yoga hands.” I didn’t understand what I was trying to achieve or what I was supposed to be trying to achieve. I didn’t understand the purpose or meaning behind it, and I just simply did not like it. In fact, I hated it. When it came to applying “yoga hands” to my practice my body would simply say, “Nothing about this feels good.” I would hear the cues and just roll my eyes and continue to do whatever felt right for my body. Don’t get me wrong, now as a yoga instructor, I follow the school of thought that as students of yoga we should always listen to our bodies, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that rolling my eyes was the healthiest option. At the time I was experiencing not just pain, but pain that lasted. I was angry at myself. I was angry at my body. I just couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong, but I just kept pushing through it. I didn’t realize at the time that it was a very unhealthy way to practice, both physically and mentally.
Yoga and I go way back. My mom worked as a fitness instructor at our local gym when aerobics and kickboxing were all the rage. When we were little we would go with her and play with all the other instructors kids in daycare, but once we were old enough we would take my mom’s classes or other classes that seemed cool. One day my best friend Nikki (who’s mom was also an instructor) and I decided to try the yoga class. The class started out with the traditional yogic mantra “OM”. We were only about 12 years old at the time and the chanting went on for what seems like forever! We finally burst out laughing!