How I Got My Zen Back

Cristina Pierce
How I Got My Zen Back

Once I discovered yoga and experienced the positive influences it had on my life, I thought I’d never be without it again.  I had found much-needed Zen through yoga; a mind body connection I’d never experienced before and there was no turning back.  Then suddenly, life got in the way.

Let’s face it; sometimes situations out of our control get in the way of our intentions, even our yoga practice.  So when this occurs, what can we do to find our way back to Zen?

Breath Determines Your State of Mind

Simply put, breath can get you through anything.  Yoga and breath are directly related, but even when you don’t have the time for a full yoga practice, you do have time to breathe.

The key to benefiting from our breath is being aware of it and observing the process.  Are you taking in short shallow breaths or maybe you’re barely breathing at all?  Paying attention to our breathing pattern a few times each day will not only calm and relax our minds, it will lift our spirits and put us in a happier state.

What I’ve learned as I worked my way back to Zen is we all have the time to control and regulate our breath while determining our own state of mind.

Any Yoga is Better than No Yoga at All

Why put the added stress on your already busy day with the expectation of getting out of the house, driving, and making it on time to a yoga class?  You can practice yoga anywhere, anytime throughout the day.

Make yoga your own by doing 3 or 4 of your favorite poses before bed or when you get up in the morning.  Or throw in a favorite yoga DVD after the kids go to bed.  Yoga doesn’t have to occur in an organized manner; it can be whatever you want it to be.  What I’ve personally learned through this process of getting my Zen back is to stop being so hard on myself and that any yoga is better than no yoga at all.

Giving to Others

We all know that yoga not only makes us stronger mentally and physically, it also reminds us to live in the moment, be more patient and give to others.  I was reminded of this when faced with my own life challenges and lack of time to practice.  I took a step back and remembered that others are facing issues much worse than my own.

How you react to the world around you, being kinder, and giving to others is another beautiful aspect of yoga that stays with you long after you’ve walked away from your mat.  Greeting a stranger with a smile, holding the door open for the person behind you, or giving a much-needed hug to someone who needs it, will bring Zen to your life in a very unexpected way.

After years of practice, in addition to going through this personal experience, I’ve learned that sometimes life gets in the way of our intentions and that’s ok.  From time to time, when I can’t fit in the physical motions of yoga in the way that I want to, I remind myself that it’s always with me, for life.  And just like that, I am Zen again.