Pump Up the Energy with Yoga (and Dance)


A daily fast-flow yoga personal practice and dance classes have pumped up my energy level, this past two months, and helped me design --from scratch-- my Thriving After Illness yoga-based workshop. Mission accomplished!

Wow! The beginning of the year has been invigorating. I just finished designing what is nothing less than one of my life’s accomplishments—a body-mind, yoga-based 3-day workshop designed for people who have been struck by physical or emotional illness ––and for anyone who’s interested in deepening their healing journey. The workshop, titled Thriving After Illness, invites participants to experience practices that they can do in conjunction with, or after medical treatment, to improve their general health and wellbeing, and re-ignite their life fire. Nutrition, self-awareness and yoga are the workshop’s pillars. Every idea, concept, practice mentioned in this workshop is there for one single reason—I’ve personally used them on my own healing journey, they’ve worked for me and, in some instances, they probably saved my life.

Now, picture this--I wrote the workshop’s script from my home office in Atlanta. Being a small business owner, it’s just me in the office. There’s no one to talk to over coffee or turn to for a motivation boost or a laugh. At the beginning of this process a month ago, I knew I needed to crank up my energy level. Yes, bringing together years of mind-body healing practice into a 3-day workshop script requires high energy—even if you used to be a marketing writer for years, like me!

So you know what I did? I adopted a high-energy morning daily yoga routine in my home studio in Atlanta. From one day to the next, I went from a gentle, slow-paced yoga practice composed almost exclusively of postures on the floor, to practicing breathing techniques that raised my energy level--dozens of sun salutations and standing poses that tested my strength, balance and endurance.

At the same time, I started dancing classes. These were meant to be pure fun. Every Thursday evening, Gordon Neil, Atlanta’s best salsa dance teacher (so I’ve been told), has led us in new Afro-Latin contemporary choreography. The class, which started last month, is small. I’m the only person who’s showed up every single week. The choreography part is hard as hell and I quickly learned that I have coordination and memorization issues. I almost dropped out after the first class, and if it wasn’t for my workshop’s script, I would have. But I realized that the dancing classes, too, kept my energy up. So, I kept on going. Last week, I told Gordon I’m quitting and going to a beginner class. “You’ll have the memorization issue everywhere you go, you need to train that part of your brain,” he commented. Yep, he’s tough. I said, “I’ll think about it” while leaving class, and still haven’t made my mind up yet. It may be time for more softness.