Dear Homegrown Yogis,

Three weeks ago, I came home from teaching a morning yoga class and told my mom that I had been feeling so strange since I woke up that morning.  My left jaw all the way down to my left fingers were tingling, and I was feeling light-headed.  Against all common sense, my mom and I decided to try to figure it out by doing online research – never a good idea by the way!  The first thing that comes up is:  Get medical attention immediately!  You may be having a stroke or heart attack.  Again, against all common sense (and my mom’s urging now), I told her I was going to rest it out instead.  But when I didn’t feel any better after a few hours, I decided it’s time to go to the doctor.

I think the reason I was so hesitant to get checked out is because I knew what was confirmed by the doctor.  My body is 100% healthy.  All those “weird” feelings were from high stress, lack of sleep and feeding my body junk.  Yes, I was a yoga teacher having a panic attack.  Trust me – the irony was not lost on me.  I was leading or taking at least 10 yoga classes each week.  But when I wasn’t physically in class, I was stressing out – I was staying up too late trying to get more things done, I was taking Tylenol PM and NyQuil to help me sleep at night, and I was walking around in a constant state of anticipation and anxiety about what I hadn’t gotten done.

As I sat in the waiting room of the doctor, I was reminded of the very first thing I learned as a yoga teacher.  Yoga is known as an 8 limb path – only one of those limbs has anything to do with yoga poses.  Although I had been doing my share of physical yoga I had completely neglected those other 7 limbs, like living with balance and contentment, breathing and staying present.

In the month of December, we will be running a 12 Days of Yoga Challenge.  As you’ll see, we will encourage you to continue to get on your mat during this busy time of year, but there are also other challenges that will encourage you to “live your yoga practice.”

I’ve decided to end my classes now by saying, we seal our physical practice with the sound of OM.  I am hoping that it serves as a reminder to myself and you that this amazing practice of yoga should not stop when we step off our mats.

With love,