Today, I have the privilege of handing over my blog to author Britt Skrabanek. Britt and I have been friends since I interviewed her for my Eden’s Exchange Author series, and she included me in her Life Enthusiast Chronicles.
In sharing with one another, we discovered common passions.
Writing. Of course.
But also yoga.
Unlike Britt who is a yogi, I only returned to yoga recently. I attend hot yoga classes about four times a week and I’m loving it!
In reading Britt’s post, I now understand why I feel better than I have in a very long time. Britt explains it in her charming, no-nonsense style. Her words resonated loudly with me and I’m sure they will with you too.
Take it away, Britt!
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There are two things that saved my life. Writing and Yoga. They both require focus and patience, they help me understand myself and the world, and they allow me to be unapologetically free.
Nobody is ever going to come ask me for financial advice. And, that’s okay.
Besides the usual grammar question, it makes me feel very honored when people talk to me about Yoga and wellness.
Just this past week two coworkers shared their excitement with me about treating their bodies with kindness. One presented her green smoothie, her first attempt at breakfast in some time. The other told me he was wearing peppermint and eucalyptus oil to treat his allergies, so he could breathe better.
Also in the same week, Eden and I began discussing a guest post—one that was long overdue. Almost two years ago we did an author interview, but this time was going to be completely different.
And, here we are.
Eden, a regular meditation practitioner herself, told me about her recent journey with Yoga. Her body was craving movement, and a newly found love for a regular practice helped her become more focused and inspired when she truly needed it.
When you’re a writer, your mind has to stay simultaneously relaxed and sharp. Otherwise, it’s a struggle like nothing else. It looks different for everybody, and sometimes it’s not as clear-cut as being diagnosed with writer’s block. You might still be writing—but devoid of passion, going through the motions and feeling like you’ve run into a wall.
I certainly don’t claim to be an expert Yogi. I may not be the most natural speaker in front of students, or the technical teacher who knows the name of every muscle and bone. What I do know is what feels good and why it does.
I haven’t taught Yoga in a couple of years, but my training served as a guidebook to a better life. And I have made countless positive changes since I began dedicating my life to wellness.
However when I moved to Portland a couple of years ago, I started losing my practice. Uprooting your life is never easy, and the effects of those changes take a while to digest. I explored some new forms of exercise—I started running, something I loathed all my life, and I even joined a gym, something else I couldn’t stand.
Over the past six months I pushed myself to return to Yoga. And, I mean it when I say pushed.
I started getting up a few minutes earlier each day to meditate and stretch. I got into guided meditation at night to heal my busy mind after a long day at work. I started practicing several days a week, even when I felt like I didn’t have the time.
Well, I made time for it. The demanding job excuse…so what? The novel won’t write itself excuse…so what? I knew I was doing the right thing for me and my body.
Over the past decade Yoga has exploded in the West, and there are many who claim it is a bastardization of its original form. The image of a skinny woman in expensive active wear doing impossible poses is something we started to associate with Yoga.
But, it’s so much more than that. And no matter how you come to Yoga, or which style you take, the benefits will take precedence.
A lot of people are attracted to the fitness aspect of Yoga. Then, they notice that they’re making healthier food choices and they’re handling conflicts with a sense of ease.
That’s because the mind and body are deeply connected, more than we’ll ever know. Yoga postures are meant to prepare the body for meditation. Because if the body is functioning well, the mind has the space it needs to soar.
Think about it for a second. If something’s wrong with your body—you have the flu, you broke your toe, you experience chronic back pain—that’s all you can think about. Your mind is consumed by the unhappiness your body feels. When your body is happy, your mind can move on to other things.
I’m biased and I think everyone should and CAN do Yoga. If you’re a creative person? You absolutely should consider it for these reasons. My writing has transformed since I started a regular practice.
I’ve always been an active person, but Yoga is perfect for any body. Dance, especially when it got very serious for me, was not perfect for any body. There was an unattainable perfection staring back at me in the mirror. In Yoga it was just…come as you are.
Where else do we have that kind of permission in life? To just be.
On our Yoga mats we have a safe and beautiful space to explore. And it’s truly amazing what can happen when we take the time to listen to ourselves.
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Beautiful and true words, Britt. THANK YOU for sharing your wisdom.
Readers, please offer Britt some <3. Comment and ask her questions about yoga, fitness, and wellness. Or anything creative for that matter! She is, after all, the author of three books and a terrific addition to your network.
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Connect To Britt
Britt Skrabanek is the spirited indie novelist of Nola Fran Evie, Everything’s Not Bigger, and Beneath the Satin Gloves. Her blog is a whimsical snapshot of life, musings, and the glory of the written word. She is blissfully married, has two delightfully incorrigible cats, and loves to experience the world—all of its quirky beauty inspires her endlessly. When she’s not writing, she’s a bike-riding Yogi who loves to dance.