This week, I am thankful for running, nature, and yoga.
Gah! I cringe just typing that because 10 years ago I would have walked away from any conversation in which someone pledged her affinity to any of those things.
But 10 years ago, I didn’t really know how to take care of myself. I was a big ball of hot, reactive energy. At the time, I viewed it as passion, but the truth was I just didn’t have the tools manage my feelings in a responsible way. I was anxious all the time, whether it was at work or planning a wedding or being newly married.
I hated anything that made me have to deal with my anxiety which made running, nature, and yoga unbearable. Being alone with my thoughts was like a hamster running on a wheel – lots of activity, but accomplishing nothing.
This eventually caught up with me after Thomas was born. I’ve talked about being on medication and being misdiagnosed, but either way, I was set upon my course of finding inner peace.
So slowly by trial and lots and lots of error, I found my magic combo: running outside and yoga. **
The running part I get; I used to run a lot as a kid, and it just felt good. However, I didn’t grow up with an innate connection to nature. In fact, I have a vivid childhood memory of going outside and was immediately disgusted by all the bugs flying around our wooded backyard. Horrified, I went inside and read a book.
I am not sure where this newfound fondness to nature came from, but there is something so comforting about it now.
I mean, look at these pics from my run:
Yoga, well, yoga has definitely has toned my shoulders. I have been going so regularly these days, Red Lotus Yoga is kind of like my Cheers bar. I run late almost every Friday. One Friday, the teacher and the receptionist said, “Erin, don’t worry. We signed you in. Go on to class.”
|I love starting my Friday off with Eliza and Alyssa! Alyssa is one of my favorite teachers EVER!|
I was taken surprise by how deeply comforted this simple gesture made me feel.
Anyway, I don’t go to church, but at yoga, I do feel a connection to something bigger than myself. When I am quiet and encouraged to set an intention, I am able to feel peaceful and able to find a sense of gratitude that is naturally very difficult for me.
I am not saying that every day I’m floating on a blissful cloud of inner peace, but I do notice little changes that make me feel more in charge of my emotions that have, in turn, given me a better chance at feeling more at peace.
So if you were to tell me I’d love running outside and practicing yoga so much that I am now a regular at the yoga studio, I would have laughed a cynical laugh.
Thankfully, I am not that person anymore.
**This combo works for me. Everyone’s magic combo is different, and I commend anyone who is able to figure that out, whatever that combo may be.