Savasana at Sunset

Think of how many times a day you hear “should.” Maybe it’s not even spoken; but it’s small talk with the person in the position you want, it’s scrolling past the Instagram of the to-die-for vacation, reading about the tireless and dedicated volunteer, and you think I should be there, that should be me, I should do that.

“Should”s can be positive too; those same thoughts can be the voiceIMG_0736 that reminds you of your calling, your passion, your joy that got lost in the shuffle. It all comes back to our intention.

The health and fitness world is often associated with this S-word. If you’re not a part of it, you should be; if you are, you shouldn’t be eating that donut. However, these are just stories that we have created; and rather than motivating us to change, they paralyze us in our patterns.

This week, I had plans to attend an outdoor yoga class at Lake Calhoun (aka everything I could ever want out of an evening). But it was a hard day at work, plans were complicated, my head was throbbing, it just didn’t seem easy.

Instead of giving into these excuses, stories, and complaints, I did my best to counteract them.

IMG_2257I walked home from work instead of taking the bus to clear my mind, I biked to Calhoun instead of driving to avoid traffic jam stress, and I met my best up-for-anything friend, Rebecca, for outdoor yoga because I knew that’s what would make me happiest.

As I laid my mat down among one hundred others, I realized I wasn’t here for myself, for Rebecca, or for the workout. As I exhaled my busy thoughts and released stress through my sweat, I was helping the strangers around me do the same. They reminded me to stay present, to twist a bit deeper, to take a courageous variation, all by doing so themselves.

Just as my walk and bike ride weren’t driven by a desire to please my FitBit, the intention of this IMG_2268yoga practice was to celebrate the community that is passionate enough to convince a yoga studio if they hold a donation yoga classes outdoors, the mats will follow.

That’s the beauty of a yoga practice, whether it’s done individually or in a class format, you need nothing other than yourself. It’s not contained to the walls of a gym, or a 60-minute format. Yogis are invited to set an intention before each practice, making every moment purposeful, unique, and rewarding. It’s your own, and at the same time, it is a part of something so much greater than yourself.

Yoga, nutrition, and fitness are never what I should do, they’re what I can’t not do. Find yours by silencing the “should’s” that don’t resonate—No, you do not need to run a marathon just because your neighbor did. Yes, that donut mentioned before is a fantastic idea {in moderation}— and follow what brings you health and happiness, the two are almost synonymous. Find what you can’t not do, and make time for it. You deserve it.

For more information about future Savasana at Sunset classes, click here and if you want to unroll your mat with me, find out more here Namaste.

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