By Guest Blogger Rana Waxman
What do you think when you look in the mirror? — I am a beautiful, awesome, wonderful, powerful, loving and capable woman!!
Sound familiar? If stress has taken over your life like a garden full of weeds, you are not alone.You may feel alone though, and that “aloneness” makes it all the more challenging to make the changes that can lead you toward feeling better, thinking better, and leading a better life (from the inside out). So, if you are feeling any of the emotions I just mentioned, you need what my sister-in-law Caren calls, “a Plan.”
Maybe you are “on the fence” about what to do, where to start. Maybe you are thinking the only way out is medication, and if I said meditation you would probably scream or turn to the next article. Please wait a second….There are really great benefits to what I am going to present as another option plan: YOGA!
Now, if you just came up with a million reasons why you can’t do YOGA then let me give you a few reasons why you can. I will start with a personal story and how I came to devote most of my adult life to being a Yoga Teacher/Yoga Therapist.
I came to Yoga with no understanding of what it was. I thought the mind was something that worried constantly, the body was something I fed (sometimes too much sugar) and exercised (to work off that sugar) and the spirit was something that got bored at Synagogue a few times a year. I was coming out of a divorce, a relationship that left me with high anxiety, low self esteem, no sense of joy, and a host of ailments like headaches and tummy aches.
I started taking Yoga classes both privately, with a Mentor, then later adding group classes. I was transforming. I could breathe, relax, and make healthier choices. My tummy aches started to disappear, I noticed a whole new renewed energy; I could fall asleep, no more headaches. Notice how I didn’t even mention new strength, flexibility and muscle tone? I was so over-taken with all the good and positive effects that yoga had done for my well-being (both mental and physical), that I wanted to share it. And that is how I started to teach. If you are feeling in any way like you are uncomfortable where you are, now is as good a time as any to start.
Today, I see people, mostly on a one-to-one basis. I can tell you that no matter who you are, as a woman in today’s stressful times, you are a hero. You may be single or you may be a single mom. You may be married with children. Regardless of your marital status, you still balance a million things. Often though, the one thing you may forget about, is yourself.
I know that it’s common to think of Yoga as a bunch of pretzel-like contortions. It really isn’t. The goal of the entire yoga system, which is a sum total of all the parts: breathing and physical exercises, concentration, meditation, the cultivating of good ethics and values is to bring about a calm mind. This is your home base, where you can cope with relationships, job and family pressures, preventative and curative health care; feel good about yourself, confident.
Last week, I saw a young, self-employed, mother of two small children. She was so stressed that she was hospitalized for what she thought was cardiac arrest. Turns out it was a panic attack. We talked, because so much of how a private class can help is getting to the source of the person’s distress. Also, breathing exercises and simple postures. After yoga, she felt equipped to face her life, and in the event that she gets overwhelmed again (cuz it’s bound to happen), she feels prepared to calm herself down. Empowerment is so important in being healthy. So is exhaling. So go ahead and try it… Take a deep breath in and let it out with a big sigh. There! You did it!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or just looking for a new way to strengthen and tone, or calm your mind, here are a few tips:
- Start where you are: seek out group or private teaching if you have special needs, health or emotional concerns.
- If you are going to try a group class, start as a beginner or look for a specific kind of class (prenatal, back care, over 50, gentle, athletic…)
- Listen to your body: in any class, your own instincts are your first guide of “what to do” and your Teacher should validate you.
- Remember you are the center of your life and you deserve the investment of time. Certain aspects of yoga will not come to you the first time… breathing, flexibility… It all takes time and commitment, but over time, you will notice a complete transformation.
- As wise Buddha says: “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”
So, what are you waiting for? Start researching yoga options near you. We are all worthy of good physical health, and a sane mind. I wish you good luck in your journey towards good health.
Rana Waxman, is a certified Massage Therapist and Yoga Alliance Teacher. With a clinic at the Queen Elizabeth Health Complex located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Rana works by appointment only offering therapeutic solutions for treatment of physical and psychosomatic disorders to individuals and a corporate clientele.
Rana is the creator and host of the first bilingual Yoga TV show, Yoga Chez Vous, airing on Videotron VOX/Channel 9 since September 2006. voxtv.info/yoga/and is extensively trained by renowned teachers of Yoga, Meditation, and Pilates in North America and India.
Rana specializes in private, personalized Yoga classes Yoga Therapy and Therapeutic Massage/Acu – Reflexology. Her insightful approach helps people with anxiety, grief, headaches, pain, stress, pregnancy and sleep disorders. Rana’s Corporate Wellness programs are backed by over 20 years of business experience. Rana’s skillful style facilitates the integration of Yoga. Benefits extend beyond strength and flexibility; there is a cultivation of FEELING BETTER, THINKING BETTER and LEADING A BETTER LIFE.
I had the privilege of having Rana as my yoga teacher throughout my pregnancies. Tell us, do you practice yoga? How did you start? How has it effected your life?