Do you remember a time when you felt so good and free in your body that you could move however you wanted without restraint? Was there a time when your limbs danced unabashedly? Can you imagine being a kid again, confidently living in your body fully and feeling proud of the space you take up?
Practicing yoga makes this entirely possible. You have all of the tools. You have everything you need right now. It is all within you.
We often awaken and before we even place our feet on the earth, our minds are racing with to-do lists and tension that has carried over from the day before. Our bodies ache and our brains mindlessly scroll through our inadequacies. 2020 has been a year of tremendous stress and anxiety for many. We're holding on so tightly mentally, physically and psychologically with worry, pain and fear.
We need to find balance. Especially now. The fears may not go away, but with compassion for ourselves and for others, we may find balance on our mat so that off of our mat we may strive, and thrive.
In yoga, I play. It's fun. I love trying out a new pose, challenging myself and laughing a bit. I try not to take it so seriously, freeing my mind & my body. I recognize how awesome it is to be alive. I find gratitude for my many blessings.
When I'm on my mat, I try to remember the joy of being a kid and I envision and harness that powerful energy. I picture my mat like a playground. I give myself permission to feel carefree again. To marvel at my image. To feel immense joy just because my body can move.
Yoga empowers me. I give myself permission to take up space, with freedom to move my body in the ways it craves to move. Yoga teaches me to breathe and be in my body fully. To feel my belly expand and contract. To feel my lungs inhale & exhale.
I am all about body positivity, encouraging others not to hide your unique shape, but truly see your body and celebrate it. Then harness your strength and find your own beauty.
I have a passion for teaching strategies for taking yoga off the mat, for building a toolkit to navigate hard situations. I've been there, I've felt it, too. If you've ever felt lost, if you want to feel good in your body, if you need reassurance that you're not alone, I'm here for you.
It truly is a blessing to be alive right now. It's a blessing, even though it's also hard and scary and uncertain. I didn't always have this mindset. I've recently embraced it. My mantra during the last few months has been, "surrender." This is new, this is exciting, and we are in this together.
I initially resisted trying out virtual yoga. I truly crave physical presence and was so used to how it always was in studio. I love teaching and always looked forward to coming together as a community to practice together. The energy and joy of being in the room was something I needed. Then, Covid-19 entered our lives.
I went through all the stages of grief through this pandemic: initially reluctant in March, when it all felt like a vacation, like it was kind of fun. Then disbelief, thinking that it wouldn't be long until things "get back to normal." Then depression, anxiety, fear. Just barely holding on, waiting. Waiting for some sense of normalcy to return.
I've come to realize that there is no normal anymore, and that is okay. We have found a new rhythm, a new normal. We're all holding on and imagining this new world together.
Now, I feel so excited about virtual yoga and am finding all the positives about it. The ease. The comfort of being at home. The connection even though online. Practicing yoga truly can be done anywhere and this virtual yoga world allows for greater accessibility.
I'm embracing this new format, and am eager to teach in this new way. It allows for everyone to feel safe in their bodies, in their own spaces, and yet still be together. I am grateful to be able to offer yoga during this time, when we all need it even more than usual. I'm honored to practice with all of you. We're certainly in this together.
I'm excited to see you all online!
*Melissa Gombola is now teaching Vinyasa on Thursday's from 9:30-10:30am!