I Can't Do Yoga by Tiffany Bracamonte

 Photo: Stem Visuals // Apparel: The MVMNT

Photo: Stem Visuals // Apparel: The MVMNT

I can’t do yoga. I’m not flexible enough. I don’t like trying new things. I’m not as good as they are. I’m not cool enough. I’m not crunchy enough. I’m scared. I never did gymnastics. I’m not strong enough. I just, can’t. Let’s start with this- you can. You can do, anything that you want to do. If you respond back with an “I can’t” response anyways, why? Tell me why you can’t, and I’ll help you see why you can. I understand why you can’t, because I couldn’t either. Not just regarding yoga, but really anything in life. Yoga has been known to cure any ailment. To allow one to let go of what does not serve you. To connect to your whole being, so that you can then connect and give to others. By simple definition, yoga is a spiritual discipline. It includes breath control, synchronized with movement, poses or asanas, meditation. Yoga can be described as a mind body connection, benefiting the physical, spiritual, and mental aspects of our being. Outside of the simple definition, yoga is what you make of it. Some of it, all of it, or only what you find is beneficial for you. Each and every individual practice, is beautifully unique. You see, that is the true purpose of yoga practice. To allow yourself to find you, your peace, to put yourself as your highest priority.

 Photo: Stem Visuals // Apparel: The MVMNT

Photo: Stem Visuals // Apparel: The MVMNT

Where do we start. What do you do every single day, for you? How are you making yourself a priority? Do you work out, pray, meditate, write, meal prep… maybe nothing? How are you taking care of yourself? How are you loving yourself? What is that one thing, that is keeping you from being able to answer these questions? If these questions present as foreign, or ridiculous to you, then my friend you have work to do. Let me tell you something, you’re not in it alone. We are all in this together. I too, have work to do. The good news is, is that it is possible to find strength in that darkness. The practice of yoga, can quite literally pull you out of the darkness, if only to allow yourself to see one glimmer of hope. The hardest part of starting, is beginning. Taking that first step. It’s vulnerable, putting yourself out there, putting energy into something you are not sure of. It’s hard because of the barriers that our minds create, as instilled electric fences to protect us from taking that first step. If you never begin, you’ll never go anywhere. You’ll stay exactly where you are. Choose to stay, or choose to move. Go to a class. Watch a video. Stretch. Follow an IG yoga feed. Sit in silence, and breathe. Read a book. There are so many resources literally at our finger tips.

 Photo: Stem Visuals // Apparel: The MVMNT

Photo: Stem Visuals // Apparel: The MVMNT

Are you ready? Wherever you are, stop what you’re doing, and acknowledge the situation you’re in. Set your intention for your day, and this moment. It doesn’t matter what is going on around you, take a moment to pause. I promise that the world can wait, and you will find yourself more able to take on what is ahead. Put your to-do list down, the email or text can wait. Put yourself first. Wherever you are, find your way into a seated position. Cross your legs into easy pose, one leg in front of the other. If you need more, take your right foot and place it into your left hip crease, half lotus pose. Now, root down into your sit bones, activating your mula or root bandha. Place your hands wherever it feels natural and comfortable. One hand on each knee, facing up, or down. Hands at heart prayer, or just resting in your lap. Eyes can remain open, or closed for a deeper connection.

 Photo: Stem Visuals // Apparel: The MVMNT

Photo: Stem Visuals // Apparel: The MVMNT

On an inhale, breathe through the nose. Lengthen and expand your spine from your tailbone all the way up to the very top of your skull. Pretend like you’re trying to reach the crown of your head to the clouds, creating space in between each vertebrae. We spend so much time sitting, compressing our spines, building up lactic acid and stickiness. Pause at the top, acknowledging the new found situation you’re in, acknowledging that if nothing else, you have control over your breath. Now exhale fully back out through your nose, bringing that breath back down, with control, along the same path it that it went up. Let’s do that again, together. Activate your root, sit up tall, focus on your breath, and inhale. Guiding your breath through each vertebral body, one by one, not leaving anyone out. When you reach the top, pause, take a moment to acknowledge how you’re feeling, and exhale fully. One more time. Inhale gratefulness. For this moment. For your breath. For the support of your spine. Exhale anything and everything that does not serve you and your purpose, completely out.

 Photo: Stem Visuals // Apparel: The MVMNT

Photo: Stem Visuals // Apparel: The MVMNT

If you’ve never practiced yoga before, well you just did! How do you feel? Maybe you feel enlightened. Maybe you feel less stressed. Maybe you feel uncomfortable being still with only yourself. The benefits of practicing yoga, are far more than the ability to list out. It is a very personalized and individual practice. Some benefits that I’m sure of and have witnessed are: improved sleep, improved posture, protects your spine, increases blood flow, boosts immunity, decrease and control anxiety, helps focus, improve flexibility, lowers blood sugar, improve balance, proper alignment, improves patience, builds muscle strength, lowers blood pressure, and if none of that pertains to you, this will- it makes you happier.

 Photo: Stem Visuals // Apparel: The MVMNT

Photo: Stem Visuals // Apparel: The MVMNT

Consistent yoga practice has been found to improve depression and increase serotonin levels, that happy chemical. We all could use a little more of that. There is no judgment in yoga practice, come as you are. You will feel uncomfortable, but what you find is that you made that uncomfortable situation, comfortable. You find the tools within yourself to weather any storm. Then you leave your mat, and take that mindset into the rest of your day. You may not be able to touch your toes the first time you try. What you’ll find is that as you stick with it, there will be a gradual loosening and eventually the impossible, becomes possible. Have you ever experienced that before? The impossible becoming possible? It’s, life changing.

 Photo: Stem Visuals // Apparel: The MVMNT

Photo: Stem Visuals // Apparel: The MVMNT

Yoga is for everyone. What you’ll find in the practice of yoga, is that life will feel, calmer. You will realize that the breath you are breathing every second, is taken for granted. That your body truly is a temple, a life holder, your biggest support. The practice of yoga, is the remedy to any sticky ailment that is holding you back from being the best version of you. Reset your intention, your purpose, every single day. Every time you come on your mat. Be the best you, for you, because you can. The light, and spirit in me, honors and respects, the light and spirit in you.

Namaste.

Article: Tiffany Bracamonte

Photos: Stem Visuals

Apparel: The MVMNT

2018 Springfield FitLife

April Nelson