September is National Yoga Month

Updated: Sep 15

How you can start your yoga practice today.




As a mom of three, and entrepreneur, an avid distant runner and high performance exercise lover, practicing Yoga for the last 20 years has allowed me to maintain the balance I need from my high speed and crazy days….Body, Mind and Spirit.


Yoga found me in early 2000 at a time in my life when I was seeking deep healing. I remember the time I took my first class a couple of years before that and was completely turned off by it. As a high performance fitness lover I had a misconception of what yoga really was and I didn't allow myself to connect with the practice or the teacher. In the winter of 2000, one of my former clients invited me (well, more like forced me lol!) to take a two week practice with a yoga guru that had come into New York from France to guide his sister and her team. With much hesitation but great need for something to help me, I agreed. I didn't realize, however, I would have to be in the city by 5am (in the middle of dead winter) and the class was for two hours. I remember thinking.... "what on earth did I agree to." It's my pleasure to mention that from the very first class I took with this Yogi, I was completely obsessed. Certainly his teaching had something to do with it. Not only his knowledge and guidance, but there was something about his spirit and his grace that connected with all of us practicing with him. Most importantly, I was ready to accept yoga into my life and the transformation it would create. As the quote states, "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear." In those 14 days, my life would begin to completely change in the most positive ways I had ever experienced.


"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."



After those glorious 14 days, I continued my yoga journey taking Jivamukti classes at their old studio on Lafayette in the East Village. My practice continued to grow and so did my love for yoga. It became my way of life. It became part of my purpose. My yoga practice allowed me to reconnect with my inner self releasing so much of the self-judgment I had been torturing myself with for years. I began to re-discover myself; who I truly was and what I really wanted out of the life that was given to me. Having faced some trauma in my youth, practicing every morning helped my body become more open and meditating assisted by offering more clarity. I was able to really forgive and let go of much emotional weight I had been holding onto. I became more creative, less stressed and learned how to create solutions instead of holding onto challenges,

My love for yoga grew so deep I slowly began my process of introducing it to my personal training clients and began incorporating some of the moves into my aerobics classes. Eventually they would find that there was no better way to end their workouts and maintain the focus they needed to continue making the healthiest choices for themselves. I later became certified and

the rest is history.


The benefits of yoga have profoundly helped so many individuals that in 2008, the Department of Health and Wellness officially designated September as National Yoga Month. It's an opportunity to raise awareness and educate about the health benefits yoga can provide.


Benefits: Yoga practice has numerous amounts of benefits for good health and well-being. The physical postures called Asanas, have been known to stimulate circulation, as well as other organs, flexibility, and strength. It has also been known to assist in reducing heart disease, lowering blood pressure and anxiety levels. The breathing practice, called Prana has been known to assist respiratory and maintain a calm state of mind. The right side, left side form of practicing offers a way to maintain balance of all sorts from within.  It inspires peace, tranquility, happiness, health, self-acceptance, self-awareness, and self-love, as well as in others and so much more. Many other benefits are, balanced and happier moods, more focus, more energy, better sleeping patterns, weight loss, and promotes control of body and mind. It will also benefit the improvement of flexibility, strength, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, lower stress, even assist in staying committed to achieving weight loss and total well-being.  


Some of the many types of Yoga: Hatha (basic); Vinyasa (breath synchronized movement); Ashtanga or Power Yoga (intense and my favorite); Iyengar (hold poses vs. flow); Kundalini (known as the yoga of awareness); Bikram (hot yoga)


Anybody can do Yoga:

Yoga welcomes everyone of shape, size, age and religion. Today, there is no longer the perception that you must look a certain way to practice yoga or teach it. In fact, yoga teaches us to accept and respect where we are in this present moment and to enjoy the journey we're on to reach whatever goals we have set out for ourselves. Yoga is not a religion and can be practiced by anyone who can understand that the way of life applied by practicing yoga is more than the physical practice. It's about increasing awareness, and treating ourselves and others with compassion and love. It's about the enlightenment of the inner self and humanity.




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Some mats for your Yoga Practice. Click on image to learn more.





Thanks for stopping by! Always sending you lots of Love and Light.

xo

Maritza






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