Taking it All to the Mat: Yoga as a Panacea?

My intention for the new year is to honor my body. So this week I signed up for three months of unlimited yoga. Half-way through the first class, as my sweat made the mat too slippery for firm positioning, I questioned what the hell I was doing. But now 4 classes later, I am reminded of the power of yoga for balance and joy.

Yesterday was an odd day and I was feeling under the weather, both physically and emotionally. Yet knowing that I would be attending a 5:30pm yoga class took the edge off the day a bit. In the first child's pose, I smiled with my face to the mat, because I knew the next hour was sacred time for me to be present with me. During the final shavasana, I usually relax and smile with the thought of what I get to eat when I go home (food is a motivator for me). But last evening I noticed myself mentally escaping and brought my awareness back to my body. I can already feel my spine straightening more. I'm aware of muscles in my abs and ass I haven't felt in quite some time. I feel more aware of and appreciative of what my body is capable of doing. And I felt peaceful and happy.

I'm thrilled that for the next three months (at the least) I'll be taking it all the mat. For me, a regular yoga practice is such a positive and holistically balanced outlet for stress, anxiety, frustration, fear, and sadness. By the end of an hour I had a great workout...and life just makes more sense.

Jennifer Gunsaullus, Ph.D.

Sex Therapy & Relationship Counseling in San Diego