I don’t remember anything about my very first yoga class, there at the downtown YMCA in Nashville — even though I had an excellent beginning yoga teacher — she’d even been Dolly Parton’s private yoga teacher. I don’t remember a thing about the class, except that there was a guided relaxation at the end and I remember thinking afterwards, “This is the first time in my life I ever recall feeling relaxed and energized at the same time… I think I need to come back.”

So yoga had me from hello.

The sun salutations that you’re watching me do here became a powerful form of stress relief at a time in my life when I desperately needed it. I was poor, straight out of college, working for a law firm during the day and going to law school at night. (Translation: I had no life.) The rhythmic movement combined with regulated breathing became a form of meditation-in-motion for me.

That was helpful — because like many people, there was no way I could get myself to sit quietly and meditate — but I had no trouble doing yoga.

My practice not only gets me ready physically for the day, but it prepares me mentally and emotionally, so I have a better chance of being fully present with the people around me. It’s simply a different day when I do this practice versus when I don’t — and we’re only talking about ten to twenty minutes a day.

Eventually, this “meditation-in-motion” practice of yoga even made it possible for me to sit quietly and begin to meditate.Meditation

I had absolutely no idea how life-changing these mindfulness-based practices of yoga and meditation would be for me — both personally and professionally.

From watching this demonstration of meditation in motion, I hope you get a sense of some of the things I’m talking about and get curious or maybe even inspired to find your own mindfulness-based practices — whether it be any type of rhythmic movement connected by regulated breathing or any type of meditation that allows you to feel relaxed, energized and “present.”

Let that keep happening regularly and before you know it, you’ll also begin experiencing more peacefulness, more contentment, and even better relationships.

I’ve never found anything quite like these mindfulness practices and I’m deeply grateful to have discovered them.  To the many friends, teachers and students I’ve encountered along the way, I’d like to say thank you very much and Namaste — the light within me honors the light within you.