Whole Living Daily

Will You Take Five Minutes Today? Yoga Off the Mat

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As I hand write this blog, I’m sitting in Prospect Park on an unusually warm spring day. Ironically, I feel the winterless winter has left me craving spring more than usual; perhaps because we’ve been teased with glimpses of her arrival for months. I’m certainly not alone in today’s celebration of warmth, sun, and the ability to feel the still-cool earth with bare feet. This place is bustling with activity. And, I love how impromptu the congregation seems--an unplanned or less-planned break to nourish the soul by taking time and making space.

I brought the beautiful book I Will Not Die an Unlived Life that I just started reading for my life-coaching course with me to the park. Something the author, Dawna Markova, handles in the first two chapters is the challenge of stepping outside of our busy-ness to nurture and honor our inherent wholeness and wholeheartedness. How might we begin to do this?

By allowing ourselves space.

It is only from here that we can begin to honor our ability to cultivate presence. Actual presence is a space where we simply are because we are. And, because we are, we are full, whole, and alive.  We are not because of what we do or what we intend to do. In fact, we are no less relevant when we’re not cranking out workload after workload. We are, and are always relevant, however, because of our ability to breathe, to share, to feel. By touching this, by embracing this, so much nourishment is available.

Today, will you take five minutes to simply be? Will you honor your ability to connect with your breath? If you’re outside, will you feel a subtle breeze, the touch of the sun, or whatever elements surround you? Will you appreciate your body, your mind, your energy, and everything you’re capable of?

Will you take five minutes to celebrate your existence and your inherent wholeness?

Yoga brings stability and calm into every discipline of Sophie Herbert's life. She is an alignment focused yoga teacher (and perpetual student) and a Whole Living contributing editor. She graduated from the Cooper Union School of Art, where she nurtured her passion for documentary photography. It was during this time that she began her disciplined and diverse study of yoga in New York, Paris, and India.

Sophie has lived, studied, and volunteered extensively in India. She feels grateful to still visit and work regularly with the Deenabandhu Children's Home in Chamarajanagar, Karnataka. In November of 2010, she became an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back www.yogagivesback.org, a grass-roots nonprofit that helps destitute women and girls in India build more sustainable lives. Sophie has also shared her knowledge of yoga at the Prana Yoga Center in Astana, Kazakhstan. Currently, she teaches at the Park Slope Yoga Center www.parkslopeyoga.com in Brooklyn and privately. Sophie is also an avid cook.

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