8 years. Damn near 9 years. That’s how long I’ve had the yearning to give Yoga a try, yet I simply never did…. Why? Mostly because I was simply too intimidated by the quiet it required.
Yes, the quiet. I always viewed Yoga as this meditative physical practice, that required my mind to shut-up lol. And well…. that has often been a challenge for me. My mind is always going. Creative thoughts. Planning thoughts. Past thoughts. Silly thoughts. Non productive thoughts. Random thoughts. Kinky thoughts lol…. just any and all thoughts. My mind stays churning.
So the idea of having to be in quiet for at least 30 minutes, had me nervous because the only time my mind stayed quiet for that long was when I slept…and even then I have oh so vivid dreams. So instead of face the quiet challenge, I would prefer to run 2 miles in 90 degree weather, than train my brain to hush.
But January 8th, I finally allowed myself to fully emerge within a Yoga session and it was LIFE CHANGING!
Event: Black Girl In Om : Self-Care Sunday w/ Lauren Ash
Where: REUNION, located at 2557 W North Avenue, Chicago, IL
So What Did We Do?: We indulged in a soulful yoga flow, meditation, and reflection guided by Lauren Ash, and enjoyed connecting with the Chicago Black Girl In Om community.
So Did I like it?:…… Girl I absolutely LOVED IT! This event was filled with beautiful shades of brown skin Sistas from wall to wall! Yup, that’s right. Sistas! And I honestly believe I was able to truly experience and fall in love with Yoga on this day, because I was surround by women who look like me. Women who accept me. Women who share similar life experiences and perspectives as me.
And most importantly, our instructor Lauren Ash is the PRIMARY reason that I was even in attendance. I’ve had the pleasure of attending an event of Lauren’s last year and let me tell you, she is so sweet and her spirit is so gentle, genuine, & kind. She can make a nervous spirit feel calm and that’s exactly what I was…nervous as hell. But I felt comfortable in knowing that Lauren would be guiding my experience.
Lauren Ash is the Founder & Creative Director of the amazing and much needed: Black Girl In Om (BGIO), which promotes holistic wellness and inner beauty for women of color. They encourage self-care, self-love, and self-empowerment for communities of color. And so much more.
So when I learned that BGIO held a monthly event called “Self-Care Sunday”, I was like….I gotta make that event a priority. And about 3 months after finding out…I signed up! And I am so grateful that I did.
So what did I feel like afterward?: I felt light. I feel like I was able to release a lot of tension and negative thoughts in that space. I felt open, in a good way. Like open to receive something positive and amazing. I felt calm. I felt happy. I felt like I already couldn’t wait to attend my next class…. yeah, I felt that damn good.
So do I recommend Yoga: Damn right. You see, I sought out Yoga to help me with stress and inner turmoil. I sought Yoga for peace. And in just one session…I’m already further along the path to that inner peace and deeper levels of self-love, that I know I can and will achieve. So yes, Yoga may not be for everyone, yet it may be for you.
But wait…what exactly is Yoga?: I’ve searched the internets and found a quite a few varied definitions and types of yoga, yet here’s a pretty good one that generalizes/sums it up a bit and via the top hit answer on google lol:
a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.