How We Can Harness the Power of Yoga to Thrive Everyday
If you’re like me, you find yourself in something like a rut from time to time. Often these ruts stem from too steady a routine or too long a winter. However, I think my recent rut is the long-term result of too stubborn an outlook. I know I haven’t reached the “I’m too old to be acting this young” stage of life (although many may disagree) but I have been feeling lately that I’m too misguided to be acting this assured in my reckless behavior.
One of my favorite Steinbeck quotes reads, “I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I’ve lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment.”
I’ve always admired this quote and allowed it to manifest itself in my brain as some odd, romantic ideal of hard living – and a lifestyle standard. However, I wasn’t so much experiencing this fictional naive lifestyle as I was spending several days of several weeks over the last several years dehydrated, piecing together previous nights and shaking off the self-conscious feeling that I acted foolishly.
This is all just a roundabout explanation to why I have started practicing yoga. Now, seriously, if you grew up spending days and days with me in the neon lights of the Hutchinson Civic Arena, you know that I’m not a figure skater because I’m not super flexible and I’m certainly not graceful, steady, balanced or eloquent. Then why yoga? It’s so much more than that.
The hours I’ve spent doing yoga so far (just 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night) have taught me so much about how to live the rest of the day. The morning yoga routine starts with breathing and concentration that asks you to consider your goals and intentions for the day and slowly breathe while you let these fill your body and mind. It also reminds you to keep your eyes always open, calm and looking forward, which I can only assume is advice for your day as well.
The yoga at night sends relaxing breaths through your body, teaches you to feel literal balance from head to toe, appreciate the progress you’re making each day, consider how well you met your intentions, and pay gratitude to your teachers and supporters.
This wholly intentional and grateful outlook on each day and each night has absolutely floored me and changed the way I go about my day. I’m not at all advocating for removing the spontaneity, mischief or even bad behavior from your days. I’m not saying that weekdays are for staying in and resting. I’m just expressing how refreshing it is to go about your day with eyes open, set intentions, and the feeling that your body is your ally and not your punching bag. Just because you can withstand hard living doesn’t mean you have to.
About the Author
Kirsten Taylor is a Millennial Team Taxi contributor currently working at Russell Herder in Minneapolis as a public relations specialist. She is returning to school to pursue a degree in secondary education to become a high school English teacher.