Yoga has become a powerful tool in my life, in just 40 days of practicing. I've followed the studio Instagram for years and I'm always struck with how your posts about yoga sound eerily similar to things I learn in therapy. So part of my motivation to do the 40 days was that I thought doing your brand of yoga would help me start integrating the lessons I'm learning in therapy into my body, and let me practice them every day. And I was right! I am particularly struck by the ways you taught me (and everyone) to acknowledge the discomfort, the pain, the grief - but then to move anyways, breathe anyways, thrive anyways. I love the 30 minute class where you encourage us, over and over, to acknowledge what we are feeling and what is going on, and then also move into what we want to feel. I'm also loving the way you give us tools for moving through discomfort - accepting that parts of life are inevitably painful, and that by connecting to breath, and really focusing on a certain spot, you can find ways to survive the pain, and even make space around it and through it. I had not done power yoga before 40 Days. At first it was confusing, and I didn’t understand why it moved so quickly. But now my body has gotten used to it, and I appreciate the level of heat and challenge that I feel every time I practice. And yet, when I finish, it doesn’t feel the same as finishing a workout. It feels more relaxing and connected and stretched out. I find now that if I haven’t done yoga in 3 or 4 days, my body misses it. This definitely was not the case before doing 40 Days.
Meditation is something I’m learning to lean into. It is not my favorite way to spend time. It is difficult to be still, as I am someone who has always defined success and value in how much I am getting done. During the 40 Days, it really helped to have the guided meditations to listen to. That made meditation much easier, instead of me trying to figure out what to do with all of my thoughts, by myself. I really appreciate the comments you made about the benefits to the brain when you meditate. Knowing the benefits helps motivate me to do it. And I am continuing to choose to meditate a couple of times a week since the program has ended.
Self inquiry was... enjoyable. Self-Inquiry is within my comfort zone, as I’ve always been an avid journaler, and I enjoy therapy. Reading Baron’s book was useful. I felt he brought up a lot of things I have never thought of before, and his questions allowed me to unlock some of the limitations and rules I had accepted. I would have enjoyed having time to discuss the readings with members of the group.
Mindful eating was... not the most meaningful part of the experience for me. I joined Weight Watchers the week before starting 40 days. So my focus was more on understanding and committing to their system. For the fast I stopped eating sugar for 3 days, and it was during that time that I finally realized that I may have an actual sugar addiction. That information has been really useful to me as I am now addressing that, and looking for a nutritionist or therapist that can help me change my eating habits.
Three concrete examples of how 40 Days with CCYOGA has impacted my life are:
1. I am not as afraid of my migraines. I typically have 9-12 per month. Most can be managed with medication, but some can’t and are debilitatingly painful for about 24 hours. 40 Days has taught me new tools to use in managing pain. I can move into my breath, find something to focus on and really see it, and I can also honestly acknowledge the pain while also seeing that I’m okay in the moment and trusting my body to move forward. While the 40 Days program hasn’t gotten rid of my migraines, I see a definite reduction in the day to day anxiety I have worrying about getting one. I love practicing facing pain and discomfort in yoga and then continuing to move and breathe.
2. While I didn’t lose weight from yoga, the practice did tighten and tone my muscles in a number of areas – so much so that others noticed towards the end of the 40 days program and asked if I lost weight.
3. I started getting up 30 minutes before my kids wake up so that I can do yoga, meditate, or workout.
Now that the 40 Days with CCYOGA is finished I am open to the possibility of…
No longer making decisions purely based on avoiding pain and discomfort.
Before the 40 Days with CCYOGA my experience with:
Yoga was doing youtube yoga sessions that were either too easy or too hard. I never understood if yoga was supposed to be a way to exercise or a way to relax. I tried it from time to time but never really connected with it.
Meditation was virtually nonexistent in my life. I have been introduced to meditation before, but always feel it is a bit of a waste of time. I have always believed that I get plenty of time with my thoughts without meditation, and I never paid attention to the benefits of meditation to the brain and body before doing 40 Days.
Self inquiry was something I do often through therapy and journaling. I have always enjoyed reading books that challenge me or push me to try something new. I have also always enjoyed journaling, whether by myself or in a workshop setting.
Mindful eating was something I’ve never paid attention to. I either eat everything I want or am consciously on a diet program.
Who are the people in our community?
We are all so different...we come from different states, religions, backgrounds, beliefs. We all have different jobs, hobbies, pleasures in life.
We all shine with different personalities, laughs, cries, screams of excitement or gentle small smiles of excitement.
We all handle stress in different ways and joy in others.
Yet we all come together. Here In this community. On our mats in breath, movement and mindset.
This practice, this place - has allowed us to meet and become friends with some people we would have never gotten to know before.
For that, I know I am forever grateful and forever changed from. Thank you to our community for forever being you...unapologetically.
If these walls could talk...
They would speak of:
They would speak of:
willingness to come apart
and hold it together.
They would whisper:
"I love you",
"I am here for you",
"I've got you",
"You are capable of anything".
They would yell:
cheers of joy,
If these walls could talk they would say:
they miss you
and are so happy to welcome you back.
They would remind you that no matter what your ability, disability, age, gender, skin color, religion, or political affiliation that they are here for you.
AND THAT ALL ARE WELCOME ALWAYS
This is CCYOGA
"What do YOU need to GIVE UP
to be in a new kind of power?"
What feelings have you not fully felt, yet? Sadness? Joy? Anger? Fear? etc. While it may have been taught to you in different ways/words than me, many of us learned to "love and light" our way through life. Or to slap a positive mantra on the mirror to make ourselves feel better.
While I fully believe it is true that we will be okay and we can do it! (I don't like to use the word BUT.) BUT, in order to actually be okay and do it the best we can, it is important to FEEL ALL of the FEELS.
If you haven't yet set aside some time to ACTUALLY:
-grieve the job, the relationship, the way of doing things that is no longer
-be pissed about the job, relationship, way of doing things that won't be in the future
-celebrate what is possible now that wasn't possible before
-tell yourself or someone else how afraid you are (that you might lose your job, to take the leap into or out of x,y, or z, etc)
then please do that this month.
October Homework Assignment:
1. Sometime between today and October 31st, set a day/time on your calendar and FEEL ALL of the FEELS. Get a box of tissues and close your bedroom door. Buy some mis-matched dishes from the thrift store to smash and maybe even make a work of art out of. Sit in the woods. Put your feet in a stream. Park your car in an empty parking lot and yell at the top of your lungs. Whatever will support you in feeling the feelings in a healthy and safe way.
2. THEN give it up, give yourself the pep talk, the love and light, the "I can do it!"
As Glennon Doyle reminds me daily on my Instagram feed "We can do hard things." and as Baron Baptiste says, "The more we embrace the constant change of life, the less we are knocked over by it."
As a community there are so many ways that we can embrace the change that is happening all around us and even in the walls of our studio.
I am so proud of how our Container Collective Yoga community has not just survived, but we have thrived during these last seven months. We've gotten on our mats, meditation cushions, and written in our journals (a.k.a. the Practices and Techniques of Baptiste Yoga). We have stayed in the work together and now we are safely, in small groups of 10, coming back into the studio for classes that are at the same time live-online.
I have to add that I'm so grateful to the team of teachers that have led and are leading the way through with gumption and grace!
I look forward to seeing you in person or live online this week for a yoga asana practice!
in fear, sadness, anger, love and light,
Brittany and the CCYOGA Crew
INTEGRITY: Being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. Integrity is regarded as the honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one's actions.
What are you most in integrity with these days?
It's funny how sometimes we know without knowing how we have fallen off track with our principals and it leads us to question decisions we have made.
It's like the devil and angel sitting on each shoulder and you are forced to choose.
When you are in integrity with your principles, notice how decisions aren't as difficult and your responses are immediate.
It's because you are in alignment with your beliefs.
That is integrity.
Open Your ♥
More often than not we wear a shield, or an armor around our heart-space.
This could simply be from our posture and caving in around our heart space, or from emotional damage or traumas to our heart.
Heart-opening is some of the most difficult and worthy work that we can do.
It allows us to experience greater depths of our own self, and to recognize and understand these qualities in others.
If you allow access , you can balance the influence that your head and your heart have on your thoughts and actions, and may even find that you have a greater sense of “flow” in life – with less challenges, less blockages, and a smoother, easier time achieving your goals and desires.
One time a month we host "CC CHATS" a place where everyone and anyone can get together on Zoom to chat about the topic for that month.
Why did we create this?
Simple, to bring all types of people together centered around a common interest or topic and get to know one another on a deeper, more lasting level.
Who can participate in this?
Anyone. You don't have to be a yogi in our studio! You can be from any place and it is always free for all!
What have we found in participating in this?
Connections beyond the yoga! Connections within the community and common interested that some of us never knew were there. We have also found a place to be silly, laugh, come as we are and also dive deep into certain topics...
What is the next one?
This month we are taking a more interesting dive into the power of our yoga practice and how it works with our nervous system calming anxieties and depression.
We all are well aware yoga is 'good' for us- but did you know that yoga actually has the ability to heal our brains and bodies?
It works by helping us regulate our nervous systems.
Clinical psychotherapist and avid yogi Katie Hyzy, LSW, RYT will explore the neuroscience behind yoga and ways in which we can actualize our practice to heal and recover from depression and anxiety.
Bring a Journal, pen and any questions you may have!
Please send along to anyone you feel would benefit from this topic or be interested in learning more behind the 'why' yoga actually makes us feel better.
Please enjoy this Meditation from Baron Baptiste on What is Most True in You...
The CCYOGA Crew
Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittany Hopkins.
Brittany, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’m into yoga and my husband is into bikes. We were living and teaching at an international school in Beijing, China, when the idea of opening a yoga studio and bike shop formulated. In 2014 I moved back to the U.S. to start the biz with free yoga in the park until we found our indoor home in Lakewood, Colorado. To date, we have served yoga to over 5,000 individual beginner and season yogi’s and tuned up over 1,200 bikes.
CLICK HERE to read Brittany and Russ's story of CCYoga & Bikes in VoyageDenver!