During some personal crises in my life, I discovered yoga. I had done yoga before (in college), but more as something to to with my friends than as a practice. Then, when I had an incredible amount of stress in my life, I saw there was a convenient yoga class at my local YMCA. I started going.
Yoga was exactly what I needed. I am learning about breathing and the importance of expelling stress and tension out of your body. I am learning to breath deeply before I say something I will regret (though I've not yet fully learned not to say it). I am learning to accept where I am in life without judgement and to know that I may be different tomorrow. I am learning about openness, about letting in and letting go. All of this is in the present tense, because yoga is a practice and I always have something more to learn.
Yoga in a class is great and I can check yoga DVDs out from my library, but I also discovered Do Yoga With Me, which is a website with hundreds of free yoga videos at different ability levels, different lengths, and different styles. They have yoga for runners (my other regular form of exercise) and for writers (with practices for your wrists and hands). My cats and dog enjoy my yoga practice as well, though their participation is less productive for me. Having my face sniffed during meditation or belly sat on during shavasana pose is distracting; it's also a moment for me to learn not to be distracted.
All of this moves me to a new space in my life, one that is hopefully more compassionate and more open. Maybe a new space that is less stressful.
What about you? Have you tried yoga or do you have other ways to combat stress in your life?