Gifts of a Yoga Practice

I’m delighted to share a guest post by Tracy Carruth. Tracy and I will be co-leading a yoga and expressive arts retreat in Costa Rica. For yoga teachers, 22 CEUs are available! For more information, click here!

Through the practice of yoga, one can devote a small portion of their day to developing a healthy body, peaceful mind and joyful spirit. The practice of yoga not only improves your fitness level it also releases stress, tension and anxiety; it helps bring focus and calmness into the mind.

The mind is astonishingly powerful. Yoga helps harness this power through meditation and focus on the breath, relieving negative, incessant thinking—something many of us do often and without awareness. Regular practice creates calmness, harmony and a positive outlook. When the body and mind are happy and healthy, we are less distracted and have more energy to connect on a deeper level to what some may call the Divine, Soul or Spirit. We can be truly present in our lives.

Yoga improves the health and well-being of our bodies and mind. It stretches and tones our muscles, promoting strength, flexibly and balance. Through stretching and twisting poses, yoga detoxifies by increasing blood circulation to all areas of the body and gently massaging organs and glands. This improves the functioning of the immune system. As a woman becomes more aware of her body, she is better able to detect signs of imbalances and early signs of any illness. With clarity of mind and a healthy body she is more connected to her wisdom and intuition.

Study after study has shown that people who practice yoga reap many rewards. Yoga can help insomnia, relieve chronic pain, reduce stress, improve mood and significantly improve health. The daily practice of yoga raises our level of awareness and consciousness, helping us to connect with our truth and goodness. Yoga is healing and transformative.

Top 10 Tips for Attending a Yoga Class

1. Recognize that simply attending a yoga class is a major statement of courage, self-care and positive momentum.

2. Pay more attention to your internal experience rather than to your outer performance. Do not try to compete or compare yourself to others.

3. Find an edge in the pose where you are challenged but not overwhelmed. Maintain a clear, open and accepting mind. Stay connected to your intuition and wisdom.

4. Give yourself permission to take a break and rest. Give yourself appreciation and gratitude for your effort and innate goodness.

5. Stay focused on an intention that is positive and meaningful to you. (For example, strength, well-being, peace, kindness, or healing.)

6. Go to class regularly, arrive a little early and talk with the other students. The support and unique community in yoga is wonderful.

7. Recognize that you are developing qualities like patience, compassion, discipline, wisdom, right effort, kindness, gratitude and many others that create a steady and peaceful mind.

8. Find a teacher who offers a balance between kindness and firmness and whose teaching inspires you to practice from your highest self.

9. Realize that you inspire and serve others when you are more connected to your truth and positive intentions.

10. Relax and have fun! If the practice isn’t joyful, you will have a difficult time being devoted.

What Makes Yoga Balance Unique

As the first donation-based studios in Texas, Yoga Balance is devoted to serving the community. Classes are offered on donations to provide everyone with the opportunity to benefit from the practice of yoga. Students give as little or as much as their hearts, budgets and schedules allow. This honor system supports a high level of integrity, value and trust within our community.
Yoga Balance offers workshops and teacher training as well as a variety of traditional classes for students. Highly qualified teachers create a space for students to experience freedom, joy, compassion, kindness and wisdom through the teachings of yoga.

The ancient teachings of yoga are based on these 8 principles-

Yama/Restraint: Actions best avoided
Niyama/Observance: Positive actions to cultivate
Asana/Posture: Releasing gross tensions from the body
Pranayama/Breath Regulation: Harmonizing body, mind, and breath
Pratyahara/Introversion: Withdrawing attention from external distractions
Dharana/Concentration: Focusing the mind on a single point
Dhyana/Meditation: Accessing a state of flow
Samadhi/Oneness: Effortless, integrated being

Bio Tracy Carruth 500RYT
Tracy Carruth is the founder and director of Yoga Balance in McKinney TX, established in 2004 and holds degrees in Kinesiology and Business. Tracy has been blessed to attend trainings with the country’s finest yoga masters and graduated from Life of a Yogi 500 Hour Advanced Teacher Training with Sri Yogi Dharma Mittra in New York City. Imparted from the lips of the Guru and Sadhaka Dharma Teachers, Tracy has received training in the classical Eight Limbs of Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation, Ahimsa Vegetarianism Diet, Assisting and Adjusting, Satsang of Yogic Truth Lessons and Yoga Scriptural Studies. It is Tracy’s hope to embody and impart these teachings and the virtues of yoga to service others on their yoga journey for radiant health and spiritual development.
Tracy has also attend Teacher Trainings with Judith Lasater, Rod Stryker, Shiva Rea and Edward Clark. She is deeply grateful for all her gurus, their knowledge and devotion to the path of self realization.

About the Author I am a modern dancer, budding visual artist and expressive arts goddess who happens to have an MBA. For many years, I worked in marketing and PR. Always, on the side, I lead creativity workshops. Then, I decided to leave the corporate world (sometimes it was the nonprofit arts world) and follow my passion wholeheartedly. For several years, I worked as an Expressive Arts Therapist working with a wide variety of folks including women in shelters, people in psych wards, and kids with challenges to name a few. About a year ago, I decided it was time for the next evolution of Expressive Hart. It was time to launch out on my own and lead more workshops, retreats, one-on-one sessions and to create a positive and inspiring online presence. I live in a darling arts and crafts style house with a big front porch in the historical district of McKinney, Texas with my beloved husband, three precious cats and my beautiful dog, Bella. I believe in illuminating magic, in spectacular possibilities, in uplifting joy and in unbridled creative expression!