It’s always a great idea to give yourself a new challenge…whether it be in life, in work, in fitness, in a social setting…it’s my belief that we should be continually challenging ourselves to grow and develop. I’m one of those people that really thrives on mental and physical stimulation and you might feel exactly the same way!

I’m noticing more and more that the truer I am to myself, my heart, my dreams, the more doors open in front of me…doors that lead me to new friends, new inspirations, and new opportunities. Recently I had the good fortune of meeting (online) my new friend, Yoga Dan. Could he have a cooler name? I think not. Yoga Dan lives in Michigan and teaches yoga at several studios while embodying and rockin’ the Yogi lifestyle with raw foods, light and love! Yoga Dan speaks of yoga with such love, joy, and heart, that I felt this magnetic force pulling me back into a yoga class (I had only ever been once before).

I went to a Bikram Yoga class, (the super hot kind where they crank the temps in the room over 105) and it was amazing. Amazing, awful, difficult, painful, beautiful and mind-blowing. Inside the studio, there are words painted on the walls in giant human sized font. PEACE. LOVE. FAITH. DETERMINATION.

There I was on the floor, lying on my back under Faith and Determination. “You can do this” I said over and over to myself in my head…and I did. I managed to do every pose without falling on my face! Incredible! I have pretty good balance so I was able to hold every pose even if I was unable to do the pose to its fullest capacity (some of those bendy pretzel moves look crazy, yo!) but breathing…being in the moment..really feeling yourself inside your body..pushing your limbs to their limits…. There was something undeniably euphoric and transcendent about it.
I had this peaceful calm high for a good two to three hours after class. Discovering your own self control, discipline and stillness is a really powerful thing…especially when you weren’t sure what to expect. And my instructor was so so nice…she knew I was the only new person in class, so for the difficult poses, she came over and did them next to me so I could see how to do it properly (instead of looking around the room where everyone seemed to be doing a slight variation of some sort)…she definitely made me feel comfortable and not like a complete newbie.

At the end of the class we are given time to just lie on our mats and bring our heart rates back down and relax in the moment. Breathe. And then…my eyes watered… I had been so open the entire class and released so much, wrung myself so far out, that I felt this wave of emotion come over me and I thought, “Seriously? Am I seriously about to cry in here?!” I managed to stop the waterfall while lying on the mat before anyone noticed…but WOAH. (yes, a Keanu “woah”) I was NOT expecting that. You’ve never seen me get off of a treadmill or finish a set at the gym and start weeping (people would point and laugh…my brother would have to hide and say he wasn’t related.) This wasn’t just a body workout – this was a mind and soul workout.

Raw foods play a huge role in yoga. What you eat definitely affects how your body will feel in that class. If you walk into class hungover or full of pizza, you probably won’t feel as wonderful and focused as you would if you went to class with a body that was run on raw veggies. The lightness, energy and swirling buzz of live foods has a positive effect. I feel that eating a raw diet definitely enables me to embrace all that yoga has to offer.

Yoga is a journey within. The outward expression of the poses and movements…those would not be possible without diving deep within to pull them out of yourself. Yoga makes me reach from the inside out, and when I think I’m about to lose it, I reach even more and find my balance…and breathe…and I love everything about that.

Here’s to challenging yourself, and discovering something new, Raw and Sexy!

Lovely comments!

  1. Love Bikram yoga, the perfect exercise for a raw foodie, being “cooler” in constitution, we can handle it well. Love the added benefit of a dry sauna. Have you checked out Raw Food & Hot Yoga by Tonya Zavasta? I find Bikram plays mind tricks ; )

  2. I have not checked those out, but I will! And the dry sauna is great too! Very cleansing! Thanks so much for your lovely comment!! XOXO – Lauren

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