Saturday, February 14, 2015

How Yoga Rewired My Mind and Changed My Life in 6 Weeks

Today  Christine from Temerity Movement is guess posting about her experience starting yoga. She is an absolutely amazing women. She recently traveled to Columbia practicing some yoga and spending her free time at an Orphanage. You can see some of here moving pictures on her Instagram @christinebri. Not only do Christine and I share the same name but are love for life is very similar.

Meet the other Christine

 Here she is at an orphanage in Columbia

 She captures the essence of understanding yoga perfectly below.

   How Yoga Rewired My Mind and Changed My Life in 6 Weeks
Yoga... Yesterday I found myself teaching a yoga class to orphans in Colombia. To think, just a couple months ago I simply thought it would be "nice to get into yoga eventually. Over the past 4 or 5 years, I've occasionally dropped into a class here and there to get a good detoxing sweat session, a good stretch, or to simply relax a bit. That would happen maybe a couple times one month, skip a couple months, drop in again, skip 6 months...
I always enjoyed yoga but never made it a priority. I held the traditional fitness industry belief that yoga doesn't burn enough calories or keep you fit enough so I believed I needed to prioritize "traditional" fitness practices. Since I had limited time in my busy schedule, I opted for the gym.
At one point in time, the gym made me really happy, but now, I get SO bored there and worse, I generally leave feeling angry or judged or not strong enough. These were feelings in my own head, obviously, but when I started realizing I was feeling this way, I knew it was time to make a change.
"Maybe new music on my workout Playlist will help," I thought. It didn't.
"Maybe if I do more intervals?" Eh... not really.
Well, life decided to assist me in making a decision. I bruised my rib snowboarding in December (which hurts like a %@$^) and didn't want to further injure myself so I laid off the gym. Six weeks ago, I decided to hike outside and to start practicing yoga instead.
I began taking an online yoga course and committed to doing it everyday. I expected to get stronger from it but what I didn't expect was the internal changes. Because yoga is a practice that nurtures and is about respect (to app things INCLUDING yourself), it made me really desire to eat foods full of life and vitality. I think the difference is that when I was on a fitness journey, I really only cared about getting skinnier. I stopped caring so much about actual nutrition because I was worried about calories. I found things like Splenda creeping into my diet on the regular when I was ademately against such toxins only a couple years before. Now, with this transition to daily yoga, my concerns are, "Does this food nourish my body and mind?" and "Does this exercise make me feel good, feel strong, and feel peaceful?"
I've also discovered that my breathing has improved. I'm much more able to keep a steady breath on steep hikes than I once was and I've even learned how to direct my breath into tight muscles to help loosen them.
The best benefit I've noticed from yoga is that it kills anxiety. Literally stops it in its tracks. I've had a lot of it recently with unecessary worries about upcoming life changes. I've literally had mornings where I have been in tears, did a quick solo yoga sesh, and been totally relaxed and ready to face the day afterwards.
Oh and all these great benefits AND I've lost weight without going back to the gym. Pretty awesome right? If you've been considering trying yoga, I strongly recommend giving it a go! How might it change your life?

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