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July Inspiration: New Perspectives to Challenges

My husband and I visited the Columbus Zoo a few weeks ago. While observing an amazing enclosure for various animals of Africa, My attention was drawn by a young giraffe standing under a tree intent on reaching a leaf. He tried for quite a long time to get a nibble but was unsuccessful. A bit later he returned to the same tree in the same pursuit. "Don't worry, little giraffe," I thought, "you will get that leaf one day. Keep going back."

In our yoga practice we face challenges in body and mind. Oftentimes we attempt to move into a posture and feel that we are unsuccessful because we don't "look" right. We watch other students attempt these postures that seem, for them, effortless. Judgments and criticisms may begin to wiggle their way into our thoughts such as "I am not young enough", "I am not flexible enough", "I am not strong enough". Such thoughts can become barriers and make us feel unworthy.

Success comes with practice but it also comes with a change in perspective. We have to consider Why do I do this? Do I do this because the girls from work do this or because I enjoy it? Do I do this to touch the floor in a fold or to feel the relief in the spine as the heart moves forward and down? Do I do this to bring the sole of the foot to the thigh In Tree Pose because the student in the front of the class is doing it or to keep my toes on the mat? When I am faced with challenges and judgments do I give up and walk away or do I keep coming back?

If we choose to keep coming back our attention moves from the external (watching other students) to the internal (our own body, our own breath). We become more aware that why I do this is not the same as why they do this. As we continue to practice the mind learns that the body it inhabits is not the same as another and is changing every day. As we continue to practice the mind learns how to listen to the body and the breath and to make choices that honor them rather than judge.

Most challenges are not on display like a giraffe trying to reach a leaf at the Columbus Zoo. Most are personal and unique. Most are private. Our yoga practice gives us opportunities to look at these challenges as a part of a journey that is evolving. It teaches us that when we come to barriers we must find a way around them, over them or under them. We must keep coming back again and again because this journey is worth it and so are you.


Schedule of Classes

Adaptive Yoga: Monday, 5:15p.m. A Moment For Me Yoga and Wellness

Adaptive Yoga: Tuesday, 6:30p.m. Grace United Methodist Church

Adaptive Yoga: Wednesday, 5:30p.m. Basic Good Wellness

Slow Flow: Thursday, 6:30p.m. Grace United Methodist Church

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