February 16th, 2015
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Yoga sign

When I read the above sign, I knew I was in the right place.

Isn’t it just great?

I love the simplicity and comfort of this message and the fact that it was posted on a black bench in the lobby of a local yoga studio where I took my first lesson over the weekend made the idea behind the message even better.

I was in a new place about to begin a new experience but felt immediately welcomed.

Taking off my shoes became the first step to creating a calming place for myself.  As I pulled my boots off and folded them on a shelf under the bench, I imagined this as the first step in learning how to disconnect from the outside world and its stressful thoughts.  I heard soothing music playing, and I continued into a room with a mustard yellow padded floor which felt great under my feet.  My eyes wandered around the room and took in the small but peaceful room which displayed large serene pictures of nature in its glory during different seasons.  I took a deep breath.  I had a good feeling about this class.

Rightly so, I was also asked to turn off my cell phone.  No worries there because I liked the idea of temporarily disconnecting and unplugging from the outside world and checking my messages later. I was enthusiastically shutting the door on the stress-stress go-go hubbub world outside and desperately seeking calm.  For right now, during this Saturday morning class, I needed to focus on releasing stress and tension.

Care giving, working a full-time job and the rest of my personal responsibilities have been working me down.  I was in the yoga studio because my intuitive son gave me a gift certificate for my birthday.  It is amazing the places our children lead us isn’t it?

The class lasted an hour and through various movements (I really can’t call them exercises) involving tapping, stretching, breathing, and closing my eyes and focusing, I went within myself and found some fabulous healing energy.  The class was wonderful!  I had gone with the purpose of learning to stretch and breath again but I gained so much more.

The yoga principles of acknowledging the feelings, mentally releasing the feelings and then moving my mind into a new place was refreshing in a surprising way.  I had not expected to feel so refreshed and calm after the first class.  I could see why people do this every day!

yoga sky

Walking away from the studio I thought about the last six months and all that has been happening in my life.  Although I thought I was taking care of myself during periods of emotional stress, I really wasn’t. After class, my teacher talked to me about how people hold stress in different part of their body and she pointed to my shoulders and neck.

I felt a relaxation and calmness that I hope lasts through the week.  The simple act of doing something different, trying something new was a boost for me.  Yoga may not be your thing but perhaps there is something else you have been curious to try. Taking a painting or ceramics class, learning to play the piano or trying a craft can give you another way to express yourself and help you look differently at your world.

I found out today when I tried something new that I changed me.  I began to create an oasis of calm within myself, an oasis that I can use to buffer again the hurly-burly go-go world I live and love in.  That act went a long way to strengthening my mental health and freshened my attitude.

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2 Responses to “Creating An Oasis of Calm”

  1. Debbie

    recently I began yoga classes. I am finding it difficult to turn my mind off. The more I can do so, the more relaxed, refreshed and invigorated I feel.

    • Mary Kate Cranston

      I know what you mean Debbie. My thoughts meander around too when I am trying to think of nothing. I was told that if we keep focusing and trying to turn our minds off that we will get better at it!! Good luck!


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