By Leah Carey
It took me a long, long time to get myself to my first yoga class. I like to think I’m open to new experiences, but this one seemed a bit out there. Plus, I assumed flexibility was a prerequisite, and my tight hamstrings were not budging. Finally, tired of the excuses, and more curious than afraid, four years ago I put on sweatpants, threw on a t-shirt, and headed to Lumina. I borrowed a mat from the front desk, took a deep breath, and walked into the studio.
The class was advertised as gentle yoga, and it was just that. The instructor was kind and reassuring when I introduced myself as a beginner. I could do each of the poses, basically, even though my hamstrings protested. There wasn’t too much sweating. There were no mirrors. The lights were low. The final resting pose was delicious.
I felt great afterwards, all stretched out and somehow lighter. Even more than the physical effects, though, I felt better inside. I had been stressed lately, going through physical and emotional transitions as a woman and mother, and I’d just made a career change. It had been rough going, and yoga allowed me to be okay with all those changes, to check in with myself and find I was still in there, still whole, still me.
As I continued my yoga practice, I reconnected with the part of me that loved to create. Learning to focus on breathing in yoga got me out of my chattering mind, and I found time off the mat to write - something I hadn’t done in years. I realized there would be huge benefits to doing yoga and journaling together – intentionally combining these powerful, self-discovery tools - and I approached Janine Agoglia about co-leading workshops with this unique approach.
The idea of the As Simple As Breathing workshop series is to quiet the mind and reflect on our gifts and strengths, use yoga poses and breathing to center us, and journal to discover more about ourselves. The 7 workshops build on each other, and we’ll end each session with what we call an inquiry, something to think about between sessions that enhances the internal work we’re doing.
This series is a low-key yet mindful way to work through life transitions, tap into your own creativity, and get clearer on your life’s purpose. As in all things, you’ll get as much out of it as you put into it. Janine and I are here to help in any way we can.
Hope to see you at the first As Simple As Breathing workshop series!