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Slow down, practice yoga & save your elbows

I was deep in thought (a wide array of thoughts actually) the other day. I had missed my morning yoga practice, and my day was filled to the brim with to-dos. Too many things were weighing on my brain, my focus was scattered, I was rushing around and I was in fact accomplishing very little!

Have you ever had that day where you catch your pants on the fence or hit your elbow as you walked through the doorway? Where you just didn’t have time for this right now, ouch!!! Yeah, it was abruptly one of those days as I stood up and hit my shoulder on the bit of wood I made a mental note to avoid just moments earlier. Oops.

As I berated myself for not remembering and breathed in jagged breathes I looked in front of me and saw the stunning array of flowers in my garden. I thought to myself; those are beautiful, I’m so glad I took the time to mindfully create and plant this gorgeous space,

My brain just as quickly wandered back to my 99 problems, I took two steps into the house and tripped. As I exclaimed in frustration at myself, my cat Toes sauntered into the room, saw me, and began purring instantly as he ran over to greet me. I stopped everything and crouched down to pet his sleek fur, laughing at how delighted he was for the attention and how he just wanted to give me some love and get some affection in return. His love and purrs had me present, mindful of what was directly before me.

After he had his fill of attention, Toes wandered away and I slowly stood up, easily avoiding the counter I surely would have hit just moments ago. I laughed and thanked my furry messenger for the reminder.

I took the opportunity and became completely present in the moment, slowed down, and just felt and noticed my breath for five breaths. As I focused on the inhalation and exhalation I became more peaceful, I felt no pressure, I didn’t have to solve anything. I just had to love myself enough to breathe and reset for a few minutes. I relaxed my shoulders and rooted through my bare feet into the ground beneath me. As I exhaled slowly and smoothly I felt the last tension leave my body. I went on to write a list of what needed to be done, jumped on my mat, practiced 15 minutes of asanas, and succeeded in accomplishing everything in my day without further injury.

I think we rush and are so distracted that sometimes we get reminders in unpleasant messengers such as the stubbed toe, or the snagged shirt. We need to slow down and practice mindfulness, introspection and focus on our breathing in a mindful way to combat these hurried clues.

I know that practicing yoga has been instrumental in me being able to access that slowing down. To become instantly more mindful with breath and feelings within my body. I notice I get a lot more friendly messengers these days to slow down when I’ve been practicing yoga regularly. Sometimes in the form of cat messengers - but I usually remember to breathe and go through a relaxation and check in with my body before I start to get the not-so-friendly messages to slow down.

I believe yoga can help everyone bring mindfulness to their daily life and less funny bone injuries. This is just one of the myriad of reasons that I teach yoga, and encourage everyone to practice to the best of their abilities.

It’s also why I need to be sure to take the time to love myself and never skip my yoga practice in the morning. It’s the foundation I build my day upon! I’d rather build my day on loving myself through breath, movement, and mindfulness... not bruised elbows and harried thoughts!

Love yourself enough to breathe. Take the time for healthy movement and mindfulness as often as possible. You’re worth it!

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