The Gift that Yoga Offers>
Words by : Heather Berg
March 16, 2023
I took my first yoga and meditation class while I was a student at NYU. This was 1990, a world before social media, cell phones….this was when I didn’t have my own computer, but rather had to reserve one at the library to type my papers and print on a dot matrix printer. By the end of that first yoga class, held on the indoor basketball courts, I felt a stillness, a quiet that was vaguely familiar. It was as if I hit the reset button. My reset was a release of the mental residue left over from the events of my day; a healthy distance from the stress of whatever current dramas were unfolding; and the clarity, lightness, and ease that comes from discharging accumulated tension out of the body.Through focused attention to movement, consciously shaping the breath, and then sitting in stillness, I was ready to begin again with renewed clarity and presence of
Today, our world moves infinitely faster than the east village did over 30 years ago. The sheer speed and volume of communication, the infinite array of content at our fingertips, is seriously awesome AND overwhelming. As we move through our days interacting with the world through devices, we take our mind and sense perceptions further and further out of the natural world. And it isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.
Unless WE choose to.
Now it has become even more crucial for our well-being to carve out time to push our reset button; to slow down and come back to our physicality. And I have found from personal experience (along with a multitude of scientific research) if we have the opportunity to do this out in nature, all the better. Not only must we prioritize time dedicated to removing ourselves from the world of our screens, but we also need reliable and effective ways to restore a sense of physical and energetic balance to our beings.
Yoga practice is, of course, an optimal way to renew ourselves. For me there is a trifecta in the yoga practice: asana/movement, pranayama/intentional breath, and focused attention/meditation. These 3 aspects are always woven into my personal and teaching practice. Always. We give refuge to the mind and provide a resting place for the senses. This practice remains one of the places where we intentionally disconnect from texting, social media, and email for a set amount of time.
Through unplugging from our outer lives for even a few minutes every day, we give ourselves the chance to plug into the most empowering and nourishing sources of renewal we have: our own breath, our own awareness, our own inner being.
Upcoming retreats with Heather :
Portugal May 20-27, 2023