Continuing on the theme of a new year, I wanted to write about my experience at the Resolution Restorative class I took at my yoga studio on New Years Day. I occasionally take classes at Yen Yoga and Fitness here in Traverse City. They have such a nice studio and the classes always leave me feeling refreshed and strong. So good! Unfortunately they don't currently offer pre-natal yoga classes, but I'm aiming to go to some gentle yoga in addition to my pre-natal classes at Yoga for Health.
When we arrived to the class our instructor had us take lots of supplies: blocks, bolsters, straps, blankets, etc. That's when you know it's going to be good. It was all ladies in the room which adds another level of relaxation for me. At the beginning of class, our instructor asked us to write one thing we'd like to bring into the new year on one side of a piece of paper, and one thing we'd like to leave behind on the other. She said that through the class we would meditate on these intentions through the postures.
disclaimer: I don't look this good. not even close. (via)
We held several poses for a long time. I stretched out my hips and my back and I focused on my breath. You should know that even though I've taken my fair share of yoga classes, I would never classify myself as a yogi (though someday that would be pretty awesome). It takes a lot for me to be mindful for 90 minutes, but it's so worth the try. Our instructor told us that we might decide to change our intentions halfway through. Yoga has a way of letting your mind relax and having what's important come to focus.
However, my words stayed the same. In 2013 I want to release the heaviness from my life and introduce lightness. This isn't something I distinctly wrote about in my future letter, but it's deeply important even beyond 2013. (especially beyond this year!)
When I think of heaviness, I think worry, stress, guilt. Literally feeling weighed down by something. The times I feel heavy are when I've literally eaten a meal that's too rich and makes me feel slobby. When I waste hours sitting on the couch. When I'm lazy. When I know I have things to do but I don't do them. That's where the stress and guilt come into play. Then I worry about the consequences. Out with the heaviness.
Instead, I am choosing lightness. Happy, carefree, with the ability to give expecting nothing in return. In my ideal "light" world, I am physically surrounded by light. Out in the sun, making the most of my days. I nourish my body with healthy food, water and exercise. I do the things I need to do in order to keep myself and others feeling happy. I am light. I am filled with God's grace that allows me to do what I need to do in order to be successful and peaceful. In with lightness.
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16
At the end of the class, we all circled around and burned our papers one by one. It was meditative, but there was lots of laughter and joy. I think it was truly symbolic of what we were all hoping to do- release something in order to bring more joy.
Happy New Year!