Yoga A Day Keeps The Stress Away!
In StrongHer workshops we introduce girls to the practice of yoga and mindfulness. But what is it - really?
What is yoga?
Yoga is a practice of learning to connect the body and mind through mindful movement and breath. It’s not always fancy arm balances or back bends; but sometimes it is. It’s not hours of sitting in complete silence meditating with no distracting thoughts; but sometimes it is.
Yoga is about learning how to be still and learning how to move. Yoga is about learning to use our breath to calm anxiety and detach from our thoughts to rest our minds. Yoga is something we don’t only have to practice at a studio or on a fancy mat, but can bring with us to school, to work, in the car, or on the subway. We can do yoga in our bedroom as we wake or right before we go to bed; and we can do yoga alone or in a studio class. There’s no right or wrong way to practice.
But we must understand that with no mindfulness in our movement and our breath, it is simply that: movement and breath.
Yoga is when we unity of the two, that is when we create a connection to the present moment; that is yoga. That is mindfulness.
The most beautiful description of mindfulness is seen in the quote below, and this is what we want the girls who participate in StrongHer workshops to walk away with; an understanding that they control the story they tell themselves when they practice mindfulness:
“Mindfulness helps us get better at seeing the difference between what’s happening and the stories we tell ourselves about what’s happening, stories that get in the way of direct experience. Often such stories treat a fleeting state of mind as if it were our entire and permanent self.”
It’s easy to get started: all it takes is one slow breath in and one slow breath out. Happy practicing!