I am a work in progress.
I guess Freud was partially right about something. He said that "Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness." But he left out an important dimension: play. I love my friends, family, and work. I enjoy using my creative energy to develop social service programs, to teach yoga and relaxation, and to live with compassion towards all beings. Though if I don't play enough - alone and with friends - I get drained, worn out, and depleted.
To me, being healthy means striving for balance between love, work, and play, while recognizing my limits and pacing myself. When I teach workshops on stress management and self-care, participants often comment that I seem so balanced and grounded. Lately, that has been true, though I never claim to have it all together. I am a work in progress. I believe we are all teachers and students. We often teach what we are also learning ourselves.
Yoga helps me restore and maintain the balance, calm my mind, and open up to a deeper part of myself, the part that isn't grasping for the next world problem to solve. I practice a gentle restorative yoga sequence that incorporates meditative breathing and relaxing poses, combined with some more powerful, strengthening poses. I even break out of my routine to spontaneously dance and move according to bursts of playful energy I feel in my body. Even within my routine, striking that balance is important.
And throughout the day, I often notice my breathing constrained, especially when stressed. Stopping to breathe, and really sinking into the breath is very peaceful, and that helps with my emotional, spiritual, and physical health. It's amazing how powerful those breaths can be.
For me, breathing deeply and listening to what my body needs is the simplest and most powerful way to be healthy.
-- Greg Van Hyfte
[Greg is doing a Cephalic Sex Workshop at the Center on Halsted this Valentine's Day. Click here to learn more and to register.]
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