People often ask me, "why yoga?" or "what's so great about yoga?" It’s a bold statement, but there’s no other way to describe it – my response is that practicing Yoga undoubtedly saved my life.
I don’t mean this in a way that’s dark or ominous, but rather the opposite. Simply put, Yoga shines a light into every corner of my being.
In those moments of light I can envision what’s possible in such a way that it's as if yoga is revealing my life to me right before my eyes. When I practice yoga regularly, I feel "on" and empowered and in the flow of my own life. First yoga gave me a taste of that feeling, and then it led me to greater discoveries.
Physically, practicing Yoga has strengthened and toned my body in ways I’ve never experienced in another activity (I still believe that it’s the best supplement to any workout routine, including my side sport as a marathon runner!).
Mentally, practicing Yoga has taught me to “choose to stay” in life's dark parts so many ways. Whether it’s a deep stretch, hitting a wall or plateau, or a challenging life conversation, I have learned that I can endure all things with the combined strength of my mind, body, and breath.
When I practice yoga regularly, I feel "on" and empowered and in the flow of my own life.
Emotionally, practicing Yoga has reminded me to allow myself to be just as I am and accept myself as I show up in each moment of my life, honoring both the messy parts and the miracles.
Spiritually, practicing Yoga has reminded me of the connection between us all and that I have the opportunity to nurture that connection through acts of kindness, caring for the Earth, reaching a helping hand out to a stranger, and remembering that ripples of love can truly change the world.
Yoga continues to teach me that with simple and intentional actions performed regularly, we have the power and opportunity to shine light into all of the dark spaces. This is Yoga practice. And how fortunate we are that we can return to our practice each day both on and off the mat. If you ask me, Yoga saves lives.”
What can yoga do for you?
Liz Layne is a Yoga Alliance RYT-200 and Leadership Coach based in Denver, CO. As a yoga teacher, Liz guides wellness-curious adults to explore the practice of yoga + meditation and create balance within each aspect of their lives.
With a focus on the mind, body, and breath connection, she guides her students through important aspects of life and yoga practice. Liz's yoga classes honor traditional awareness of breath & alignment while satisfying the curiosities of the busy Denver adventurer. Whether you join her class to release, renew, or relax, Liz's classes offer something for everyone.
This post originally appeared as a contribution to The Wellness Stop blog in June 2018.