By Cynthia Wallace, PA-C
I began the practice of yoga because, like so many of us, I struggled to balance the demands of my professional life as a physician’s assistant with responsibilities as a wife and mother of two. I never loved to exercise, and since there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day, taking care of myself was at the bottom of the list.
But that changed last Christmas when my husband gifted me with enrollment in a yoga class. I was a little skeptical, but he had already paid for it, so I had to go. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it was life-changing. At first I was a bit intimidated; everyone else in the class knew what to do when the instructor called out commands. I walked in not even recognizing child’s pose! And all the other participants looked incredibly fit and had much greater strength and flexibility than I’ve ever had. But I stuck with it. I kept going because even if was exhausted after a long day and had to drag myself to the studio, I was energized and calm after I left the class. I felt present when I was with family and not overwhelmed by my to do list. I even slept better.
Now that we are in the midst of this pandemic I feel the need to continue my practice more than ever — not just for myself but so that I can project peace and tranquility to my children – whose whole lives are upside down. I’m not able to join my class in the studio, but I have found the same sense of well-being as I stream on-demand sessions through my Peloton app. (Other great sites are: grokker.com, yogawithadriene.com, doyogawithme)
Yoga promotes increased flexibility, weight reduction, and increased muscle strength. At this moment, I most value its mental health benefits which include reduction in anxiety, improved moods and clearer thinking. The list goes on. My family benefits from my practice as well. I am definitely a nicer person when I practice yoga!
When you need to find calm in your life, take some time for yourself and do a few minutes of yoga or at the least find a quiet place to breathe deeply and reflect peacefully (check out imcw.org or Headspace.com). Don’t be afraid to carve out your own time; it is best for everyone.
Stay Safe and Healthy!
Cynthia Wallace, PA-C