“Find your WHY, find your WAY.” – John C. Maxwell
We are all trying to limit stress and anxiety, create a sense of balance, and define for ourselves what our purpose, or why is. Yoga can lead you to your why by helping you find your center. When you come to a place where it feels easy to breathe and you can show up exactly as you are—that is your center. It is a safe place in your soul that helps bring your focus back to living a creative, healthy, active, and beautiful life. Your center allows for perspective, knowledge, and insight, while keeping you grounded in your truth. A place where you feel comfort, safety, love, and are embraced for who you are. You are never alone here. This is the place that connects us all, where you come to grow spiritually. This place of center is deeply felt on your yoga mat and is where your why’ will take root.
THE BENEFITS OF PRACTICING YOGA
Many people believe yoga is simply a physical practice—a low impact workout to tone your muscles—but this is just a tiny part of yoga. Here are just a few of the benefits of practicing yoga:
· Reduced stress levels
· Strengthened immune system
· Lower mental fatigue
· Improved decision-making
· Increased energy levels and productivity
· Enhanced concentration and performance
· Enhanced communication skills and clarity
· Improved sleep patterns and quality of sleep
· Increased physical and mental well-being
While yoga does have some fantastic health benefits, it also helps individuals who are seeking their truth, and searching to understand the meaning of life, or their why. According to yoga, one of the most important things in life is to realize you are deeply connected to the whole—to everything. For me, this was a crucial realization.
RETURNING TO MY MAT
I finally stepped back onto my mat and into my practice after a few months of feeling lost and not quite myself following our first PCS. After moving to North Carolina, my yoga practice had taken a back seat due to stress—job, schedule, routine changes, illness, and most of all, my anxiety. I had been trying so hard to be perfect and adjust quickly to this PCS, that I had lost a bit of myself in the process. I had let my stress, fears, insecurities, and anxiety take over to the point that I no longer felt fully free. I wasn’t as devoted to my practice because I was letting my stress take away my center, my ability to breathe fully and connect to my body, and my why. Finally, I had a truly beautiful practice on my mat and knew I was letting go of the ego and stepping fully into myself one day at a time.
A RETURN TO AUTHENTICITY
“When we are without authenticity, we’re not being ourselves –– our energy is stuck. It gets contracted because so much is going toward covering up what we don’t want people to see; what we don’t want to deal with; or whatever judgments we have about not being good enough, smart enough, strong enough, or ANYTHING enough. When we drop the masks and live from our authenticity, we ignite our power and our whole life opens up.” – Baron Baptiste
Yoga is all about your life experience, looking at how this experience affects all parts of your life, and focusing on what your life is, not what it should be. When you are able to accept your experience, then resilience, flexibility, enthusiasm, peace, and joy are much more readily available to you. While this PCS has been a difficult transition, I am learning from this experience and growing deeper in my why. I am connecting with those who have similar interests, becoming involved in my SFRG, finding my new community, and in turn, finding my center again.
Your why might not seem impressive to others, but it doesn’t need to. Your why is the deep-down core reason for your beliefs, hopes, and dreams. It is your purest truth and the reason behind what drives your decisions, passions, and dreams. When you discover this and are aligned with your why, you will feel happiness, joy, and peace on a whole new level. For me, it was yoga that helped to guide me back to my center. If you have taken a step away from your practice or are new to yoga and interested in finding your why, I encourage you to step onto your mat. Remember to be gentle with yourself, breathe life back into your soul, find your way back to center, and your why will find you.
Namaste—the light in me bows to the light in you.
Being of Power by Baron Baptiste
“6 Things You Should Remember When You are Struggling with Military Life” by Julie at Soldier’s Wife, Crazy Life
“Finding Your Soul’s Purpose: The Four Purusharthas” by Nataraja Kallio
Sarah Wick is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher living in Fayetteville, North Carolina with her husband and dog. She loves exploring small North Carolina towns and taking trips to the beach whenever she has time. Yoga has been not only a tool of hers over the years for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, but also a passion. A year before her PCS to Ft. Bragg, she enrolled in a 200-hour nine-month yoga teacher training program at Panacea School of Integrative Health in Hallowell, Maine to expand her knowledge of yoga. She wanted this passion to become something she could share and connect with others through. Her love for yoga evolved into building and creating a mindful life as a whole, and she wants to share this passion with others in the military spouse community.