Today my Inner Strength Yoga Studio newsletter was all about wellness and since that’s the focus of my lent this month, I thought I’d share:

I’ve been taught and discovered in my life that stress comes from making things that are really not important very important. Not willing to let go of the past, holding on to things, not placing them into the appropriate perspective and over analyzing always adds to our stress.

Wellness is now proven to be a very important quality to cultivate. There is a distinct difference between health, fitness and wellness. “Health” according to the surgeon General is, “The absence of disease.” You and I know that there are people out there that don’t have a “disease” but are completely unhealthy. Fitness is defined as, “The state or condition of being fit; suitability or appropriateness.” Fitness means different things to different people. Depending on our stage of life our fitness levels or “suitability or appropriateness” varies greatly. Building muscle for high school athletics, dance or outdoor activities may be an appropriate motive in one stage of life where sustaining or gaining bone mass and maintaining a youthful flexibility as to keep up with the grand kids may be another motive for fitness.

So the question remains. What does it mean to be well? What does it mean to be well to you? According to yogic thought wellness comes from practices that bring you to optimal states of mind, body and emotions. The key word here is “practices”. Everything we do is a practice. Brushing our teeth is a practice, worrying about weather you’re in the right job or not is a practice, letting the person in your life know every single morning that you love and appreciate them is a practice. I’d like to challenge you in this moment to stop and think of the reasons why you must practice wellness. Perhaps it’s for stress management, deeper understanding of our selves, to be a living example for our kids, patients, clients, family or for general fitness?

I believe wellness takes your health and fitness a bit deeper. Many of us engage in yoga seeking health and fitness benefits and soon realize it touches every aspect of our lives. It challenges our beliefs, strengthens our will, and supports us throughout the joys and sorrows of our daily life. Through our practice, we find we become kinder to ourselves, more forgiving toward others, and tolerant of our own imperfections. These are the qualities of wellness that are available to you on the mat.

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