As we spring forward by moving our clocks up an hour it reminds me that everything in life changes. Sometimes the transitions that we go through happen very slowly almost unnoticeable moment by moment. Yet, every day our bodies are continually changing in the process of aging and we adapt in many ways to navigate change as gracefully as possible.

This week marks the one-year anniversary of all the changes that Covid brought into our lives. Being able to slow down, shelter in place, work and play in new ways and so much more has been quite eye-opening. Learning how to offer yoga on Zoom and flow with the changes this pandemic created has been a learning experience for all of us along the way.

Yoga is a practice that can be transformative in many ways. It effects change. The breathing exercises known as pranayama train your lungs to expand and cherish your breath of life. The physical practice of asana strengthens and tones your body and slows the aging process. Meditation helps you keep a clear mind that does not fight change rather teaches you that your inner connection is a source of peace and calm. There is a changeless nature that is deep within your heart and your spirit that you tap into.

When I first came to yoga I was going through a painful divorce. I had always “worked out” in various ways at my local gym and yet something was missing. My church offered a yoga class and I felt like I had come home to my true self. It was the first time that breath and movement were linked in a fluid way. That I was taught to slow down to feel the energy flowing, to sense what my body/mind was holding onto and to release the tensions of life. The journey led me to Ashaya Yoga which linked an uplifting theme throughout the practice which enhanced my experience. It truly felt like a mind, body, heart and spirit transformation.

It continues to this day when I show up on my mat for my own personal practice. I honor my body and what it is capable of- that has changed over the years. Accepting the physical limitations that have occurred and yet continuing to practice through it and learn to love myself in the process is the journey. Oftentimes when I teach a theme, I am reminding myself as well to remember to embrace the whole of me.

The book “Yamas and Niyamas” by Deborah Adele teaches the philosophy of yoga that encourages you to become fully aware of how you show up in the world. It changes you from the inside out. Your relationships can be transformed in the process. You realize how environmental changes affect all of us and make changes in your own way for the greater good. For me not buying cases of bottled water and recycling at home have been two things I have implemented. The pandemic also kept me from buying anything I did not need. To embrace minimalism as a way of life is my current goal.

One of my favorite quotes on change is written by Jaladdin Rumi “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself.”

Thank you, students of yoga, for navigating the changes from Zoom back to In Center during this time. We are grateful and look forward to seeing you in classes either in person or online.

Janie Gunn