Hot yoga and Stickers

“Hang in there! Two more breaths and then savasana!” 

My yoga instructor invites me to hold the pose just a little longer.  Here I am, standing in a pool of sweat on my yoga mat in a room that is 97 degrees and somehow, I refuse to break my pose, I refuse to give up.  I hold on tight and shake a little but the hold softens and then I release and breathe…

A lot of things have changed in my life over the last five months.  Through it all, one of the best additions has been my yoga practice.

I was always the girl who had the excuse, “I really don’t do yoga,” “I’m not flexible” or “It’s just not for me.”  But when a close friend invited me to a class several months ago I agreed to join.  I started with simple classes that were so gentle and tender they spoke right to the core of my being.  Yin yoga and meditation carried me through so many of the tough times this past winter.

Breathe in…breathe out…breathe in…

Let go of today… release and just be…

Every time I got on that yoga mat, I could feel something within me healing.  It felt like it was where I was supposed to be – not in the past and not in the future but in the present moment, on my mat.

When I was not on my mat, I spent the weeks painting and coming up with ideas for new sticker designs.  I found myself wanting to make more art that was centered around the idea of a deeper inner connection.  Painting the om symbol, rivers, western wildflowers and anything that made me feel completely at peace was a way of bringing my practice to my day to day work.   

Then it happened. 

I signed up for my first hot yoga class.  I always thought of hot yoga as a modern form of torture but after my first class I was intrigued.  As the weeks passed I found myself craving the combination of heat and challenging yoga poses that I never thought I would be able to get into let alone hold in place.  My restorative flow carried me through the last 5 months and has been one of the greatest gifts of this time.

It has truly been restoring me.

Nobody is immune to the wild curve balls that life will throw your way, but I’ve found that having a touchstone of calm has helped me in ways I could never imagine. 

My yoga practice has been a beautiful unfurling like an unexpected flower, like the flowers that you buy for yourself. 

My mother recently asked me to paint her a columbine sticker.  I took out my pencils and my paints and took to the watercolor paper the same way I take to my yoga mat.  It’s a process of breathing in and breathing out and just being at one with the moment.  Colors on the page, water moving around with the ease of the brush, hands on the mat, downward dog, it’s all the same…

If you are reading this, my hope for you is that you find something small that brings your heart joy – a small practice that brings you back to center and reminds you of your own inner peace.  You deserve it.


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