I can’t believe it’s already the middle of January, and that Christmas was almost one month ago. It’s also been one day short of a month since I’ve blogged. Yikes! Life has been busy and truly wonderful, and I’ve desperately wanted to write about it, but somehow every time I’ve sat down and put my fingers on my keyboard, nothing came out. I have two sponsored posts to write this month, both of which I’m excited to share, but I admittedly wanted my first post of 2017 to be a bit more personal, raw and from the heart, so here it goes…
Last night I took a 90 minute yoga workshop that left me feeling relaxed, happy and completely at peace with myself. Yoga workshops aren’t typically structured like a tradition class, and this one was geared towards setting intentions with the moon and letting go of things that no longer serve you.
Taken from part of the description of the workshop, “Think about it – if the moon has the power to pull the tides, being that we are composed of mostly water, the moon can also influence our daily lives.
The new moon represents a fresh start, making it the ideal time to start new projects and set intentions. Full Moons are a time to check in on the intentions set during the new moon, acknowledge what you’ve accomplished and release what’s no longer serving you.”
When a good friend invited me to this workshop I immediately got excited and knew this was something I wanted and needed to do for myself. I’ve been practicing yoga on and off for several years, probably more than a decade actually. It goes without saying that it’s a great complement to my running, but it also helps me restore peace, tranquility, self confidence and inner strength within myself. Whenever I finish a practice I feel empowered, rejuvenated and relaxed.
Last nights workshop started with about 45 minutes of a basic yoga flow. Instead of sun salutations we did moon salutations, something I hadn’t ever done in a class, but I absolutely loved. After our flow was finished the instructor guided us through meditation. The feelings and senses I experienced during this time were powerful and surprising. The meditation was designed for us to think about new goals we wanted to set, but to also think about the negative things that often hold us back from our goals and then let those negative things go. Whether they were feelings, relationships, fears…
At one point during the meditation we were asked to walk a path that led us to where a huge raft was floating on a river. We were also asked to visualize a huge stack of boxes on the riverbank by the raft, and to come to the realization that it was our job to stack the boxes onto the raft. At first I visualized my husband, my daughter and some sort of validity being with me, but when the instructor said we were alone, I knew I couldn’t take any of those things with me, and I realized I had to do this on my own. As we stacked each box, they were labeled with one thing we wanted to release from our life… fear, self doubt, stress…
When all our boxes were on the raft, we were to visualize it drifting away as the current from the river pulled it away from us. I remember feeling both scared and liberated at the same time.
When we finished, we were asked to grab the journal we brought and write about how we felt during the meditation – there were parts of the meditation where I felt lonely and scared, primarily because I tend to fear change, and I knew truly letting go of something from my life meant exactly that, change. We also had to list the things we imagined releasing from our life so we could make space to set new goals. We also wrote down this list on a piece of purple tissue paper. Then, one by one, we went around the room, read out loud our list, set it on fire (literally), said “I release you”, and watched the tissue paper turn into a burning ball of flames, fly away and turn to ash. To say this was liberating would be an understatement, and it was majestic to watch, it almost reminded me of those Chinese lanterns. We also had the opportunity to get our cards read. I did four cards – body, heart, mind and spirit – and each card I ended up with made sense and spoke volumes.
I walked into that room last night excited to meet up with a friend and wrap up a great weekend by practicing yoga, but I walked out feeling like I was healed from the inside out. I don’t love yoga just for the fitness aspect, I love it for what it does for me mentally and spiritually. There’s a reason I’ve been practicing it for so many years, whether in a class or in the comfort of my own home – yoga calms me, it grounds me and it centers me.
I’ve felt incredibly inspired since the workshop, and I’m finally ready to truly release some of the things that often times hold me back or cause me anxiety, and start writing out my list of goals for 2017. This workshop and chatting with my friend Kathryn was exactly what my mind, body and spirit needed. It was a great reminder that although I’m a wife, mom, fitness instructor, personal trainer and run coach, that taking time for me is just as important to help maintain a healthy and happy balance in my life. There’s a lot I want to accomplish, not just in 2017, but in the years to come, and it all starts with setting intentions and taking care of me from the inside out.