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Monday, October 13, 2014

Yoga and living in the moment

I try (most of the time) to live a healthy lifestyle.  I try to eat more greens less carbs.  I try to stay away from processed and anything pre packaged.  I support local farmers at the farmers market every weekend and head to the grocery store for the few ingredients I can’t find at the farmers market. I try to get out and run, walk, bike or do something active with my dog every day.

But what we often forget to enrich is our mental health.  Sometimes we just need to “detox” to find something that lets us purge all the negativity, the days stresses, and freshen up our minds if you will.

I used to really hate the idea of yoga.  This whole zen “koom by ya” hold a pose for an hour get in the moment mentality was never my thing.  When I found went to a hot power yoga class in Old Saybrook back in CT because a friend was teaching it, my opinions were changed on yoga.  Great instructors, music, and faced paced workouts that leave you sweating in that hot (but not too hot) room. 

I was really excited to find a very similar studio one mile away from my apartment here in Salt Lake City.  I was a little hesitant to spend money on a gym membership, but when I saw the price of this studio (introductory price) of $39 for one month unlimited, I couldn’t say no.   The entire wall is windows looking over the city and the mountains.  If those mountains aren’t a reminder to relax and let go, I don’t know what is (well, except the ocean- you guys know I miss the ocean).
Yoga has been such a nice mental and physical treat.  Put in these poses you can really focus on you and your body and leave your troubles at the door.  Probably my favorite thing about yoga is the introductory statement from the yoga teachers at the beginning of each class.  Sometimes they read from a book, sometimes they just recite their favorite passage, sometimes they just speak of some kind of motivational sayings. 

This week, the instructor’s mantra really stuck with me.  One instructor said something along the lines of “imagine how wonderful life could be if we covered ourselves in sweat and laughter every day”.  I really loved that idea of mental and physical health check being a daily requirement  Another instructor was talking about being present, about living in the present.  SO often we are living in the past, or in the future.  She challenged us to let go of the past, stop worrying about the future, and live in the present appreciating life moment to moment.

This really stuck with me.  How much time do we spend taking pictures of our dinner to re live it later, or on social media sites looking into what every else is doing.  Or worrying about getting older, or stressing that our friends are getting married and having babies and we aren’t.  The news stories this week really drove the point home even further and reinforced this “live in the moment” notion.  Stories of a young woman, Brittany Maynard who was told she had 6-10 years to live which was quickly changed to 6 months, due to terminal brain cancer.  To stories of expecting mothers delivering their babies knowing they would only live a few hours post birth.  Brittany said she was going to spend the rest of the time she had left doing the things that are really important to her, and disregarding all of the things that have no real value to her.  Isn’t this something we should all strive to do all the time?  Isn’t this “you only have one life so make it worth it” mentality the reason I packed my life and moved across the country? To experience something new, to enjoy everything this life has to offer.  
To this day, some of the best advice I have ever gotten was in an employee break room.  It was a Tuesday and I was just wishing and waiting for the weekend when someone turned around and said to me “Stop wishing your life away”.  A well heard statement but it hit me so hard in this context.  Don’t just live for the weekends, enjoy each and every day.   So with yoga and life around me as a reminder, I want to try to be more present.  To enjoy the days, heck to enjoy the moments.   Savor all the little experiences, the sunsets, the glasses of wine and time with family and friends.
So this week I am starting with unplugging.  No social media, no blog updates, and no Instagram for the week in an attempt to be more present.  I challenge you all to try something like this or at least try to live your life in the moment.   Maybe it’s time we stopped taking a picture of our entrees and savor each delicious bite.  No Iphones allowed.

See you all next week. 
Katie @ Running A Ragnar

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