In the past eight months, I have experienced a lot of transition. First a move from New York City to suburban Newark, Del. Then a trip cross-country to Aspen, Colo., where I’ve just started a new job and adventure.
Change is good, but it isn’t easy. It takes a toll on the body. It creates stress and causes anxiety, unrest, sickness and disruption in sleep. A favorite blanket and deep-tissue massage are my ways to find comfort, but it’s yoga that’s been getting me through the past few months.
I first started practicing yoga when I lived in New York, in tiny, people-packed studios on the Upper East Side and in Union Square. I chose Bikram, sweating out city stress and anxiety for 90 minutes.
When I returned to Newark, I was struggling with the transition until I found a local studio that offered a series of Vinyasa classes. In that studio I began a new pattern, tapping into the existing principles I learned in New York. Although my regular practice reconnected me with old friends from high school, it also gave me the opportunity to reconnect with myself.
To me, every yoga studio feels the same. Sure, every room has a slightly different design. The lighting varies, and there can be a range of aromas. Every practice has its own set of teachers. But the feeling I have during a class is always the same.
Yoga is a common denominator, no matter what state, city or country you are in. A good class offers the chance to tap into your inner state. And no matter how far you travel, that always comes with you.
I eventually got to the point where I was practicing at least three times a week in Newark. As other yogis will tell you, the challenge is to get to a point in a posture where you are comfortable and then go beyond that.
Push boundaries. Build strength. A new city or a big change can be like a yoga pose. It might not feel right at first. It may hurt or be uncomfortable. But with practice and time, it feels like second nature.
I was just getting myself into the swing of things in Newark before I decided to stir everything up again. Now, in Aspen, I have an entirely new set of postures to learn. Recently, I went to a stretch yoga class, the goal of which is to increase awareness and flexibility.
With classes like these, I am laying a foundation for what’s ahead – a foundation of patience, openness and understanding. A mountain town is quite the opposite of a major metropolis, but I know that, with yoga as a helping hand, I will eventually fit right in.
I just have to keep pushing forward and deeper into this new state of being.
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