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Yoga to the rescue

For over 12 years, yoga has amazed me with its intricacies of abatement. ‘Splain that one to me, Lucy.

OK, I mean the lessening of my own intolerances, decrease in back pain, and reduction in my podium-thumping ‘me, me, me’ and ‘mine, mine, mine’ way of thinking.

A host of other benefits lie in its mystery, like flexibility in an overly muscular body I thought would never see or feel a ‘stretch’ much less to a full wheel backbend or a forward fold without pain.

Then, there’s strength. Oh, not the bicep-curling or ‘90-degree leg press with two 45-pound plates on each side’ kind of strength, but the power of soft, steady concentration and focus that lets me press up into a handstand and gently pulse with the intensity from within the tone of my muscles, including the muscles of my brain.

That back pain I deal with? Alignment. With awareness of our misalignments, we gently bring our bodies into the same general space as our optimal blueprint, that energetic double of us. When bones are aligned, muscles strengthen around the appropriate alignment and pain diminishes.

Action. It’s the steady beat of muscle energy (strength to hug the midline) combined with the right quotient of organic energy (expanding from the center) that keeps me steady on and off the mat.

And I clearly can’t leave out attitude. The quality of the heart that yoga lets me slide into, that leaves me calmer. Reason? Yoga quells the ‘fight or flight’ stimulus to our nervous system and evokes the calmer side, the resting side, the peaceful and contented side of our bodies, mind and soul. The deep breathing we evoke in our practice actually creates an abatement of stress. We breathe more fully and expansively.

In so doing, stress is alleviated. Most of the time. There are days. And when I am enveloped in a road rage moment, I pause and remember my practice. Then take in a very deep breath, release my grip on the steering wheel, and offer blessings and gratitude to that crazy-ass driver. He may have just saved my life by slowing me down to his foolishness. Thank you.

I’d love to hear your amazing yoga abatement stories. How has yoga helped you in your life?

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