Good Morning my Fabulous Fighters! Namaste, “My soul honors your soul.” I wanted to start highlighting influencers in the holistic world of healing. Mind, body, and soul. I believe the greatest medicine is to teach others how NOT to need it. The self healing process though the use of natural therapies has become my new cancer treatment. As I become more educated and aware of all the natural therapies available I want to be able to share and educate others that there IS MORE for anyone facing adversity. Today I am honored to introduce you to Janine, she is a friend and yogi. Her story is very special and I believe so relatable. Please help me welcome Janine to the Fabulously Fighting Family!
When I first found out the purpose of yoga is basically to calm your mind – I nodded my head, “Yes.” That sounded right, we come to our mat to be in the present moment and to clear our mind using meditation, movement and breath. Sounds exactly like what modern media had told me. Then during my yoga teacher training I began to dive deeper into my practice off the mat, I was – frankly – pissed and so confused. This “off the mat” practice involves things beyond the physical poses, the asanas practice, utilizing the “8 limbs of yoga” – most specifically the Yamas – and digging and learning about myself.
If I’m supposed to dig into the dark depths of Janine and become familiar with her enough to love her anyway… how is running off with my tight little yoga pants and mat over my shoulder to go “calm my mind” helping me get there? I asked myself, “Am I using the physical practice of yoga to avoid meeting my dark side? Am I distracting myself from the real stuff?” The answer was yes, for a time, and I hated to admit it.
When I was on my mat I was away from the outside world, I was there 100%, and my bright and shiny self was on display. I was running from the darkness and I was getting a high while I was doing it. When that thought hit me, I was furious and felt betrayed by my Yoga – as if it had been lying to me all along. What I neglected to remember was Dark Janine was there with me on my mat every time I ran to it. In retrospect, this was my first lesson learned.
In the light side, I’ve had a kindness in my heart, a yearning to connect, a knowing of oneness and a desire to move my body with intention and impact for as long as I can remember. Yoga gave me a language and a structure to confirm I’m doing all I can these days. Taking one right action after another.
In the dark side, I’ve definitely let people down I care about very much and along the way let myself down. I’ve been lower than low, suffered irreplaceable losses and made some pretty piss-poor decisions. Yoga gave me a detachment from being these feelings, decisions and losses.
I find comfort in remembering with the good comes the bad and that in bad there is good and in good there is bad. The truth is Dark Janine ran right with me to my mat all along. I was not avoiding her – I was soothing her. I had to. In order to begin my work off the mat I first needed to begin to get comfortable in my skin, with her in there too.
The purpose of yoga is to calm the fluctuations in our mind – to bring those peaks and valleys a little closer together and to remember that the middle ground is where the good stuff is. We practice calming our mind by paying acute attention to our body’s alignment so we stay safe in poses as they get more challenging. We practice being so present, so observatory of the exact moment in our body because if we don’t we’ll fall out of our pose or balance and land on our head.
We practice these things so that it can trickle off of our mat and into our every day lives. If we don’t have presence in the moment and pay attention to our friend who is telling us something important, we may figuratively fall on our head. If we don’t stick to our alignment, our personal truth, as life gets challenging then we will get hurt.
Saying yoga has changed my life would be accurate. But it continues, every day it’s changing and I feel so grateful to lean on it and learn from it until the day I die. One right action after the other, doing what feels right and sticking to my alignment.
Please follow Janine on her social media outlets
Special Thanks to Janine for sharing her story and knowledge. Stay tuned for other guest bloggers.
All My love to you my Fab Fighters,