Gentle Yoga

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Listen to your body. It’s smarter than you are.
— Anonymous
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It seems as though two conflicting ideas are fueling the world of fitness/health: You either “go hard or go home” OR you ‘slow down. breathe. connect.”  I’ve been a fan of both theories.  There are days when I practice yoga where I feel empowered, strong and focused and want nothing more than to challenge myself.  And then there are days like Sunday, when I’m forced into taking it easy and my body is completely grateful for it.

I’ve been pretty much out of commission since late Saturday evening.  I felt the twinge of a jaw headache and just knew that I was going to get vertigo.  Low and behold, Sunday morning I awoke to the familiar sensation of the room spinning (read about my condition here). 

As much as I would have loved to take some medicine and go back to sleep, I was committed to sub a Gentle Yoga class at the Midtown Green Monkey studio.  One of the very few drawbacks of teaching yoga is that you can’t ‘call in’ sick.  Sure you can get a sub ahead of time but it’s really hard to find someone at the last minute.  So I took half the dose of my medicine with a cup of tea and made my way down South.

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It's been a while since I taught at the Midtown studio and I remembered how much I love the space. The floor to ceiling windows allows so much light in that you can’t help but feel uplifted and inspired.  The yoga room is huge with an industrial size ceiling but it still feels cozy and intimate.  The acoustics in the room allow for the soothing sounds to bounce off the walls providing a peaceful ambiance.  If you haven’t been to the Midtown location, you should definitely check out the schedule

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Whenever I have vertigo, my senses are super heightened.  It’s like I have tunnel vision and whatever I am seeing/hearing/tasting is magnified.  With the sun coming through the windows, I felt my skin absorbing the rays.  In forward bends, I felt my jaw relax and was relieved temporarily from my headache.  When we did breathing exercises,  I felt that my brain was fully oxygenated.  I wasn’t pushing through the discomfort, I was sitting with it and listening to what my body needed.  I felt like my vertigo helped me be a more attentive teacher. I was extra gentle on them and in turn myself.

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After two full days of resting, I’m starting to feel some relief from the vertigo.  I continue to be gentle on myself and try not to push through my condition.  Your body will tell you when its had enough of 'going hard.' 

How can you be gentle on yourself this week?

OM the moment for your body
and take it easy. Find a Gentle Yoga class near you. Lie in Shavasana as soon as you get home or take a shower and moisturize your entire body with coconut oil.  Make an effort to honor yourself.

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