The Joy of Yoga

Today, more than ever, it is especially important that we include practices in our daily lives that promote health and well-being. B.K.S. Iyengar once said that a regular practice of yoga can help you face the turmoil of life with steadiness and stability.

My personal journey with yoga started at a young age when I spotted a pocket book at the grocery store checkout with a woman standing on her head. Inspired to teach myself yoga, my mother agreed to spend a quarter and buy it for me! Yoga, to some degree was always a part of my life since then.

After a horse racing accident left me with numerous broken bones in my leg, ankle and foot, it was the yoga practice that I turned to for relief. In less than 15 seconds my life of joy and promise changed to one of pain, uncertainty and depression.

More than a year spent using crutches, several surgeries and against the doctor's predictions, I was able to learn to walk again. The pain I experienced was excruciating and the depression was real. Yoga, at that time started to become increasingly popular so for the next eight years I experienced different styles of yoga. It was my first Iyengar yoga class with Bobbi Goldin that changed my life and put me on my road to recovery.

Through the proper alignment, a focus in Iyengar yoga, I watched my body transform and my yoga practice flourish. As my body opened up, my emotions released and my depression lifted.

As we stretch and bend in yoga classes we are training our bodies to be flexible as well as learning to be adaptable. Adaptability can prove to be are greatest strength as we move through life.

An on-going yoga practice has a lot to offer no matter what stage of life you are in. Physically, it can help your strength, flexibility, and balance. It requires us to focus on the present moment, which helps to clear the mind and bring a sense of peace. A daily practice can lift your spirits and give a much needed energy boost. It also provides the time for contemplation so that we can make thoughtful, careful choices.

I can't thing of a better time to put our yoga into a real life practice than in times of hardship or great personal challenges. I have found that the regular practice of yoga poses and breathing, with moments of quiet reflection, have become the foundation for my life.

We do not always have the power to change our life circumstances or the situations we are faced with in our life. But we do have the power to transform how we feel about the challenges. Around the world, people are turning to yoga as a means to keep fit and reduce stress. This ancient practice and philosophy can still help to counter the stresses of our everyday life. Stay joyful! Practice yoga!