Erin Lester on Red Earth & Yoga
Every morning, before I get out of bed, I start with being grateful. Some days the things I’m grateful for roll through my fuzzy morning brain, my heart, and my body. Others I have to work to think of three things, yet in doing so I shift.
Red Earth to me is about gathering as women and learning how to shift; how to shift our relationship with ourselves, with nature, with creation, and this amazing community of beings that walk the planet with us. Great shifts can happen when we gather together, focus our energy, and open our hearts.
About 15 years ago my body, mind, and spirit were very disconnected. I exercised a fair bit, riding my bike to work and training to run half-marathons, but I wasn’t listening to my body. I didn’t take time to slow down. As a fiery pitta-natured, Type-A individual, I have often jumped before thinking, having an urge to do and accomplish and experience as many different things as I can. But that year at work, I went to a yoga class taught by a co-worker and I found a practice that I needed, I craved, that I wanted to slow down for. Yes, I enjoyed the pretzel-like physical positions, but there was something more that I felt. While I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, I knew I needed it.
For the past 15 years, I have practiced yoga multiple times a week, if not daily. In my practice I have felt connection, I have felt rejuvenation. I have learned to slow down and enjoy the moments, the journey. I have learned to fill my cup and heal my body, as a conduit for healing my soul. My heart has grown bigger, and yes my body has grown stronger. Yoga has taught me so many lessons. I still have many more gifts that lie ahead for me as I continue to practice yoga and meditation. But I know now why it has been such a good tool for me and so many other Type-A’s and fiery folks.
I started teaching yoga so that I might bring this missing source of connection, creativity, and growth to others. I have taught yoga at the corporate office where I worked, at community gatherings, at yoga studios and clubs, to children at my local library, and to friends and family, and individuals. Teaching yoga is also a gift for me. I have learned to be more patient, understanding, and creative when working with others. And my childhood intuition is coming back to me as I patiently walk this path and break down the walls I’ve put up around my heart.
Now I aim to wake up before my children each morning and practice. Sometimes it's an hour or more, others it is 5 minutes. Putting me first in my day and practicing yoga fills my cup.
Blessings on your personal journey, Namaste.
~ Erin Lester