Yoga is a wonderful way to relax, slow down, quiet the mind, to just be in the moment.  Especially while living in a busy, high-stress, power-driven city such as Washington, D.C., yoga can be extremely therapeutic.  People are often drawn to yoga as a means to find calmness and cultivate a sense of peace and serenity.  For some, this may mean going directly into a quiet meditation.  Simply sitting may be the extent of your asana practice.  However, most of us have so much chatter running through our minds that this is just not possible.  When our mind is cluttered with stress, physical stillness and mental concentration can be very difficult to achieve.

Students Practice Heated Yoga in DCIt is important to remember that an essential part of yoga is striking the balance between effort (sthira) and ease (sukha).  Before finding stillness, sometimes we need to actually build more heat, more energy.  Think back to when you were in grade school and how awesome it felt to get outside and run around the playground at recess after being cooped-up inside a classroom.  Do you remember feeling much more alert and focused afterwards?

Yoga can be similarly revitalizing.  Flowing through several sun salutations is a fantastically energizing and powerful way to kick-start your day or end your hectic week. Being careful not to overexert yourself when your body needs to rest, sometimes the best remedy to combat chronic stress, refocus, and recharge is to engage in a vigorous and dynamic practice.  Moving the body to its edge can help clear away blockages in our mind, body, and other areas of our lives.   As we move through a challenging sequence, it is important to find the areas in our bodies where we can relax even as other parts of our body are incredibly engaged.  Then once you have worked out all the kinks in body, finally your body is able to completely relax into stillness, the mind can finally focus and meditation becomes more attainable.  With this practice, we learn what areas in our mind we can soften and how to refocus our thoughts and energy.

Tomorrow morning challenge yourself in a vigorous, sweat-dripping practice.  Challenge yourself to find your edge and see how it changes your day; see how it changes your life.

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Welcome to the Yoga District community! If you're new to Yoga District, head to bit.ly/ydwelcomesyou and select our new student deal (first class totally free) - please note this is for those who haven't practiced with Yoga District before. If you've been with us for a while, thanks as always for your support!