Tuesday, December 6, 2011

7 truths about my Yoga & Meditation progress...

So... I think it is about 5 months now that I've been on my daily yoga and meditation journey. I've been pretty disciplined with it and have only missed a handful of days. I haven't had any earth shattering changes in my life, but here are 7 things I have noticed since beginning my journey:
1. As I sit in meditation I can get to my "relaxed place" much faster than I used to be able to. Sometimes I would sit the whole 20 minutes and not be able to relax. This still happens on some days. But on most days within 5 minutes I am in a relaxed state. After trying many methods I have found the best way for me to breathe and relax my body.

2. I am becoming a calmer person. I find myself snapping less at my girls (even at 5-6:00pm when I've "had it"). Without any effort on my part I am less irritable.
3. I have found my style of yoga. I have kept an open mind over the past 5 months and have practiced Anusara, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kundalini and different variations of each. By far, Kundalini is the strangest yoga I have ever done. I feel kind of silly chanting and doing some of the postures. But... It is also the yoga that makes me feel the most relaxed, refreshed and absolutely buzzing with energy at the end of my practice. I have found my yoga. I will still practice a combination of other styles, but I know which style is the right one for me. (If you would like to read more about the different types of yoga go here).

4. I've heard many people ask about it and I now have the answer for them... YES, yoga can make you lose weight. Especially the vigorous, constant flowing motion types of yoga, like Vinyasa. I have lost a lot of weight and I continue to see definition in places I have never had definition in my life. My body looks different than it ever has. I really wish I had taken some good before and after pics- but you'll just have to take my word for it.
5. I've had a few "strange" things happen. The first: I have "trigger points". If you've never heard of trigger points, they are tiny knots that form in muscle tissue due to stress or overworked muscles. I have them near my shoulder blades and they flare up a lot if I'm stressed or busy. It is the main part in my body where I hold on to tension. They can get pretty painful and even lock up my neck if I get super-stressed. One night they were quite painful. I normally reach for Pamprin (the muscle relaxers in it help me a lot) but I decided to mediate first. After 25 minutes of meditation, the pain was completely gone. I healed my own body. It was temporary and they came back again the next time I was stressed- but I still thought that was pretty cool that my mind made my body feel better.

6. My second weird happening also involves my trigger points. I have always read about people having "breakthroughs" during yoga. During some intense stretch, usually of the hips, they start to cry. It's always explained as a release of blocked emotions that they were holding in that area. I've done tons of yoga classes where the focus was on the hips... and... nothin. Last week I was doing a a series of Kundalini shoulder kriyas (postures) when I out of nowhere started crying! I was so surprised to feel tears running down my face. I wasn't feeling sad and I was totally engrossed in the yoga. When I was done with my tears and that class- I felt sooooooo great. I have no doubt that I hold onto stress in my shoulders and I had just released some of it. I can't wait to release some more!

7. I have realized that some people think yoga is weird. I have also realized that everything is weird. I mean, we live on a giant blue spinning ball in the sky. Isn't that a little weird? We are sucked onto the planet by some strange force called gravity... again, weird. We have a huge glowing ball of fire hanging over our heads every day. Super...freakin...weird. We just get used to these things and don't give them much thought anymore. It's all weird, people. Embrace the weird.