MY SATURDAY LOVE
Well, after a year of living a vegetarian lifestyle due to a scare and possible surgery for partial removal of my colon, I wanted to take my well-being to a different level of self- healing. Yes, I was that petite woman who would eat 5 to 6 pieces of bacon like every day until diverticulitis caught up with me and I was referred to a GI doctor to perform a colonoscopy; a procedure used to detect changes or abnormalities in the large intestine (colon) and rectum. There is history of the cancer disease on both side of my mother and father family and plus my brother was receiving treatment for colon cancer at the time which made it mandatory for me to have this exam. Polyps were found, but the biopsy came back negative and I concluded that meat and I were no longer friends!
It was the month of September in 2018 when it was dropped into my spirit to do an overhaul cleansing and to begin focused more on my well-being. My cleansing consists 31 days of green smoothies and salads and clean healthy dinner. I do not drink sodas or any kind of juice anyway, so drinking only water was no problem for me. My heart began to desire for yoga. Body stretching is usually part of my morning routine and then I started incorporating yoga into the exercises. The strange part was that I didn’t even know I was doing yoga poses. I began searching on Pinterest and Google for easy and simple poses I can do in the morning. The more I did my stretching exercises and yoga, I noticed I was more flexible and relax. When I saw that the gym I attended had yoga classes I was so on board. The timing of the class was perfect because it was taught right before I my schedule work time. Tuesday and Thursday would be my days for yoga. I also wanted to gain muscle weight, so I joined a boot camp class on Tuesday after work. Monday and Wednesday were my freestyle days at the gym. I ordered my yoga mat set in pink of course. I went to the store and purchase the food items I needed for my smoothies and salads. I was all set and ready for my journey to well better mind, body and soul. I attended my first yoga class that was being taught by a male instructor. I was so worried that it was going to be a full class and I would be looking out of place like the last yoga class I took over five years ago. Yeah, after only one class I never went back because I was so embarrassed because I was so unbalanced, and I just couldn’t get it and the instructor and people in the class kept giving me the you just don’t belong here kind of look. I guess they were right because I didn’t go back. I must say this time around was a much better experience. The atmosphere was calm and soothing, and Mr. Young was so patient, and kind spirited. Plus, it was only 2 of us in the class. Yesss! An older lady and I. Yoga is not a cat walk in the park. When it comes to yoga, it is based on breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures. You will come out feelingly relax and peaceful but later you are going to feel like you ran a 5k marathon. I know I did! A yoga instructor, a young woman from Ukraine was also an instructor at a yoga studio that specialized in heated yoga gave rave reviews about this studio and stated that I would love the owner who is also an instructor. She told me the name and location. I Googled it and checked out the studio website. To my surprise not only it was located where I can commute via public transportation, but the owner was Black Girl Magic. Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! I read her bio and was amazed with her accolades and accomplishments and it was Black-owned! You Go Girl! I didn’t hesitate to register for the 12:15 power yoga which is heated in 86 degrees of hotness.
By my surprise my body woke up Saturday morning at 7:00am especially after my two glasses of wine. Instead of going into my usual routine of stretching, meditation and prayer I did laundry first. I gather all my family clothes and head to the laundromat which is right behind my apartment complex. After loading the washer, I headed back home to do my routine stretching and meditation. My stretching exercises consists of various stretching of the limbs and yoga poses. Then I do fifteen minutes of meditation that focused on setting my intentions and raising my vibration. While I am meditating I will speak affirmations such as May I be happy, May I be healthy, and May I be at peace.” I proceeded back to the laundromat to put my clothes into the dryer. I came home, and I went into prayer. I always start my prayer off like this: Thank You Lord for waking up me, my family, my love ones and my neighbors. Thank You for giving us a place to lay our heads. Thank You for giving us rest and Thank You for protecting us and keeping us safe from harm and danger. Thank You Lord for blessing us with another beautiful day of your grace and mercy and Lord I ask You, as You lead us on our way today that You order our footsteps in your word. In Jesus name, Amen.
Once prayer was done, I rush to the laundromat and fold the clothes, so I can leave out in time to attend my new yoga class. Mariam who is the owner was teaching the Saturday class. I got there an hour early. There was a bench outside of the studio, so I sat down and pulled out the book Believe Bigger by Marshawn Daniels and I was on the chapter which she discussed if you are a Puller, Pusher or Planner. I considered myself 2 out of the 3 and The Planner was not none them. I am working on being a better Planner though.
Mariam, a genuine soul welcome me into the class and I asked did she have any extra mats for me to use during class because I left mines at my other yoga class. Honey, the studio was hotter than a sauna. I told her let me go in Kroger and get me some cold water because I don’t need her to call a code blue because I fell out during class. It was a total of seven including one guy in the class. She instructed us to get in the Child's Pose — Balasana (bah-LAHS-uh-nuh) — is a common beginner's yoga pose. It is often used as a resting position in between more difficult poses during a yoga practice. The word "Balasana" comes from the Sanskrit words "bala" (meaning "child") and "asana" (meaning "pose"). When She then instructed us to bring our arms forward and apart to a surrender position. She stated this is when you surrender and let everything go. Let it go! The next thing I know I was about to have a moment because my emotions was just all over the place lately and I was dealing with a personal issue that was causing a torn in my heart. My spirit guide yelled out, no ma’am, no you are not about to this right now. Now pull up your big girl panties and breathe inhale, then exhale. Well my spirit guide got me all together real quick! When I tell you only after 10 minutes into the class I am sweating like a pig left in the dessert to defend for his life. In the words of my BFF Keisha, “Bless Her Heart” sweat was running so much down my face and I even had the nerve to get my lashes done the day before the class. I am surprised those bad boys didn’t fall off my eyes, but we both made it. That yoga class was the most invigorating class I have ever attended. I felt like a ton of weight was lifted off my body. I left the class feeling stronger and empowered to live life every day with intention. Ever since then, my Saturday Vinyasa yoga became my self-love fuel to my mind, body and soul.
Yoga is now becoming one of the most self-care practices among both women and men, but there are also many people who don’t know what yoga is and what class would be best for them because there are so many different types of yoga. Also, many people have the assumption that you need to already know yoga to attend a class. The answer to that assumption is a big no. You do not have to know how to practice yoga, but it is important to take a beginner’s class, so you can be introduced in a slow-paced class to learn the different stretches and breathing techniques because this will help you to maintain poses and help you concentrate on your breathing.
What is Yoga? Yoga is an old discipline from India. It is both spiritual and physical. Yoga uses breathing techniques, exercise and meditation. It helps to improve your health and happiness. A person doing yoga will move from one posture to another which is typically practiced on a yoga mat.
There are 14 different types of yoga styles, and these styles can range from new beginners to athletics advanced. The yoga style I do is the Hot and Bikram Yoga - Vinyasa Power Flow style:
Hot and Bikram Yoga- Vinyasa Power Flow (Heated) is the class I took every Saturday. The hot yoga is done in a studio that is heated to 85+ degrees and consists of both women and men of different diversities. Usually this class is set to empower the mind, body and soul. It inspires you to challenge and push yourself. You will sweat, but it is so much fun. The class is designed for the yogis to transition from pose to pose. The class begins with several rounds of sun salutations. Basically, yoga moves through standing series focusing on core strength and balance and concludes with a floor series of postures that takes you deep into the practice. Once you consistently attend the classes you will learn the different yoga poses such as the Child’s pose, Chair pose, Downward-Facing Dog, Warrior pose and so many more. Oh, did I mention with the heat and all the sweating from the yoga exercises it contributes to weight loss? Yes, it does! I thought that little piece of information would be great for those people who don’t like the gym.
What are some of the benefits of yoga?
Stress-relief- Yoga helps manage stress and anxiety and thereby reduces their harmful effects on your body.
Better Sleep- Yoga will make you less stressed and thereby help you sleep better. Chile, I have fell into a good sleep on my mat a couple of times after class.
More Strength: Yoga gives a full workout to all the muscles of your body so, overtime, you gain a lot of all-over strength.
Flexibility and mobility- Yoga makes you more flexible and that helps increase your mobility as well. Therefore, you can do everyday movements like kneeling, bending or reaching out for something with ease.
Increases Self-esteem- This is one of my favorite benefits of yoga because I am a Self-love Coach and I am a believer in practicing what I teach. If I am going to teach women the importance of embracing self-love, joy and internal happiness then I need to teach them from my own experience and from my own knowledge and yoga does that for me. Practicing yoga would help you explore a different side of yourself. It would make you feel good about yourself and helps you take a positive approach in life.
Weight management- Even though yoga is a spiritual practice, it is also a kind of exercise that can help you lose weight and maintain it in the long run.
Hotter sex: Yoga tends to raise the testosterone levels in the bloodstream thereby leading to an increased appetite for sex in both men and women. Yoga also makes you more confident in bed and heightens the sexual experience. That Flexibility does Wonders!
There are so many more benefits and plenty of resources out there in the internet world about yoga. My favorite reference is the Yoga Journal. It has tons of free information and free videos that you can utilize to learn how to do yoga in the comfort of your own home. I hope this will help you get your days started on your very own journey of yoga and self-love, until then as we say in the yoga world, Namaste.
*By the way if you are in the Atlanta area, stop by Stella Power Yoga and try out a class. I promise you your mind, body and soul will thank you for it.
Until then My Loves, Have an Amazing Day!