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Dr. Loretta Standley is a retired Chiropractor, Acupuncturist and a current Yoga studio owner and teacher.  She is a Yoga Alliance Certified Education Provider through Yoga Alliance

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Sometimes it takes a while for things to click for me. Maybe I wasn't listening, maybe I was day-dreaming, maybe I just didn't get it, maybe I was lazy or maybe I just wasn't ready to hear it. When you are on your yoga mat and the mind goes elsewhere, your practice will have a unique way of reeling you back into and onto your 24 inch x 68 inch rectangle of space. For a new yogi, it can be hard to wrap the brain around the fact that no one is looking at you. They can't! If the yogi on the mat next to yours spent their time looking at you, they couldn't stand in their own practice. Even when you, or the yogi next to you, is falling in and out of a pose, it is your job to keep your focus on your own mat. Such is Life and such is yoga, keepin' it real. It's like the Scripture about plowing and looking back. If you look back or look around while you are plowing, your furrow would be crooked. You can't do that! Look ahead, hold your gaze (that's 'dristi' in yogi talk) and carry on undisturbed. Isn't that we are trying to do in Life, carry on undisturbed in the midst of the fire?

The great thing about yoga is that it is light-hearted, supportive, positive and a judgment free zone with just the right dose of seriousness and maturity so that you don't injure yourself. Yoga is all about Life and keepin' it real. The story on your mat may look different today than it will tomorrow, which is often times a reflection of what is going on in your Life. Yoga is more internal than it is external. No one is looking around trying to read your story, because they are in the middle of their own story. The only judgment in the room is usually the judgment that we place on ourselves. And therein lies one of the many gifts of yoga where we learn how not to take ourselves so seriously, yet at the same time manage the seriousness we place on ourselves spiritually, physically, emotionally, chemically and mentally. You will come to find out that your 24 inch x 68 inch rectangle of space will soon become your best friend.

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by Dr. Loretta Standley
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**This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.