From a Grateful Yogi...

Welcome to Grateful Yogi, my new blog. I'm hoping to focus on many aspects of my life here, but with particular focus on my yoga practice, and what I am learning from my journey.

I have tried blogging at least twice in the past, and found it never quite stuck. It has always been more of a repository, for pictures or for family to track the goings-on of our life in Boston. I'm hoping that this blog will not just be a repository, but a conversation, and a place for me to share my passion for life, and yoga. I plan to share details of my practice, what music and books I'm reading on the subject of yoga, and other tidbits about life in this corner of the world.

Over the last year, I have made significant changes in my life and priorities. Finding yoga, and developing my practice, has made a profound difference in my happiness and my state of mind. I am a different person than I was. I am lighter physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

One of the biggest things that has changed about my life is a focus on daily gratitude. Being grateful calls us to recognize the present - and to live in it. I am a very blessed person with a wonderful support system of family, friends, and coworkers. I have always been a positive person, but I am trying even harder to practice being present and focused in gratitude each day. This means for the large things - like my husband and family, my job, my home- but also for the small things. It means letting go when you want to be an aggressive driver, because in the end, it doesn't get you there any faster and it takes away from everyone's peace. It means smiling at a stranger when they just brushed right past you on the street - because you don't know what kind of day they just had. It means being grateful for legs to ground you - even when you keep falling out of tree pose!  If you let it, yoga begins to seep deeply into your being and the principles start to guide you more off the mat. Being on the mat becomes the simpler part!

I remember the first time I realized that my practice had really had an effect on me - and it was on the way to an important meeting at work in late January of this year. I was anxious about my role in the meeting. I was driving in my car, nervous, and without even thinking, I started to do "yoga breathing." Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. I relaxed. For once, I had control. It was a beautiful thing. And the best part was, it was almost involuntary. I knew I had really changed in that moment. It happens more and more often.

So what kind of yoga do I practice? I join a studio practice 4 to 5 times per week, usually at Sweat and Soul Yoga. I practice in a variety of diverse styles. I love vinyasa and hip hop and restorative and any other flavor you might want to try. I prefer yoga to music, but I am self-aware enough to know that this is only because yoga without music is harder for me mentally.

I am working on building a personal, at-home practice in addition to my studio practice. I try to meditate several times a week, but this is a newer goal and success is less frequent. I carry on though, and know this will come with time. In addition to yoga, I am also deeply devoted to running, cardio and strength training. I have an amazing trainer that helps me achieve my goals and pushes me to do my best.

So, I hope you'll come back as this blog grows. The links to the side are places, people, and things that have helped me in my practice!

-Grateful Yogi