HAHAHA I just realized a simple typo can turn a “phoria” into “phobia”…  What a horrific notion: a paralyzing fear of yoga!!!

I’m quite the opposite, hence I’m often witnessed practicing various types of yoga in the wide-windowed front room of my house.  I absolutely LOVE yoga and can truthfully say (from experience) my life is so much better with a regular practice.  My first exposure was about four years ago, as part of a weekly young women’s group therapy meeting.  Being determinedly holed up in my self-destruct sidecar, I wasn’t exactly ready to believe yoga could improve my relationship with my body more than anything else.  Especially when it was dependent upon my participation in open exploration of my feelings!

Even my cat Abby loves it!

After a few sessions however, I did start to notice how liberating it felt to reconnect with my breath, balance, and body.  Now I find it indescribably de-stressing and grounding.  I’ll even admit that I love how well it fits with my vegetarian outlook.  😀  I used to drive over to a friend’s house three or four times a week to follow yoga tracks offered through iTunes in her spacious living room with her roommates, and it was the perfect way to wind down a day of classes, homework, and kaleidoscope life.  In the summer, we moved our practice to the beach, where we found ourselves immune to the gazes of passers-by as we revisited Warriors One, Two, and Three. 

Fast-forward to NOW, when I pass my love on to my parents who are in dire need of de-stressing and joint-loosening.  We’ve adopted the yogadownload site as our source of guidance at the end of an all-consuming day, and we are the proud owners of three beautiful yoga mats.  Here they are, lounging comfortably in our living room yoga studio:

I love having such a warm, pleasing room in which to center myself!  The hardwood floor is actually quite gentle under the mats, and the fireplace doubles as temperature control and visual attraction.  Our leafy companions also bring living peace into the house.

Yoga is the perfect way to soothe whatever ails me – and here it was tension, bloating, and a really sore left foot (planter fasciitis, apparently – stretching the calf muscle actually relieves the pain and injury really well).  Restlessness, irritability, and discontentedness has been creeping up on me recently.  Thank GOD I’ve got such a great tool at my feet!  It was so effective, I returned to practice a mere 12 hours later:

It’s a dramatic change in setting, this shift from night to day!  Both have their own profound beauty though.  As do company and solitude!  I gratefully noticed different “little lusts” from practicing with my parents and from practicing by myself in personal silence and centeredness.  That room is also particularly special to me because it lovingly accommodates our gorgeous black Kawai – another little lust that never fails to rejuvenate me.  What’s more – I’m finding out more and more that by engaging these outlets, I can also brighten someone else’s day, with lyrical music or meditative companionship.  And, I suppose, when I take the time for myself, I actually gain a lot more that I may then give to others.  How selflessly rewarding!   🙂