• Melissa Gombola

Yoga Play

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

Do you remember a time when you felt so good & so 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 & 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 & before we even place our feet on the earth, our minds are racing with to-do lists & tension that has carried over from the day before. Our bodies ache & our brains mindlessly scroll through our inadequacies. 2020 has been a year of tremendous stress & anxiety for many. We're holding on so tightly mentally, physically & psychologically with worry & pain & fear.

We need to find balance. Especially now. The fears may not go away, but with compassion for ourselves & for others, we may find balance on our mat so that off of our mat we may strive & thrive.

In yoga, I play. It's fun. I love trying out a new pose, challenging myself & 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 & I envision & 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 how it craves to move. Yoga teaches me to breathe & be in my body fully. To feel my belly expand & 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 & celebrate it. Then harness your strength & 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 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 & scary & 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 & we are in this together.

I initially resisted trying out virtual yoga. I truly crave physical presence & was so used to how it always was in studio. I love teaching & always looked forward to all coming together as a community to practice together. The energy & 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 & that is okay. We have found a new rhythm, a new normal. We're all holding on & imagining this new world together.

Now, I feel so excited about virtual yoga & 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 & this virtual yoga world allows for greater accessibility.

I'm embracing this new format & am eager to teach in this new way. It allows for everyone to feel safe in their bodies & their own spaces & 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!


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