Christine Mooney shares her insight on staying happy and healthy
I’m the laid-back Southern girl, the semi-nomad who doesn’t own anything unless it fits in her Jeep (or in her parents’ attic until she’s secured a place to live). The girl who, when the wind blows from a certain direction, feels something wild fire up inside her. Always free and relaxed, never stressed.
But things have changed lately. I don’t live in my native North Carolina or in laid-back San Diego or Savannah anymore. I don’t change jobs every six months when the mood strikes or a new place beckons. I’ve always had “wings,” but over the past year I’ve created something new for myself that I never thought I’d have an interest in — roots.
As much as I love my newfound stability, it comes with its own set of troubles, and it made me realize a secret I had kept from myself. Despite all my self-assurances, I actually do get stressed out. Turns out I’m human after all. Go figure.
Before, if I didn’t like the way something was going, I’d simply quit. You can’t feel stress if you don’t give it a chance. So when the going got tough, I left. But, this is the grown-up version of me, and I need to figure out a way to manage the stresses of bills and both full and part-time jobs, and other obligations so that when I find myself with some free time, I actually feel free.
So how to do that?
For years growing up, my mom practiced yoga, using The Raquel Welch Total Beauty and Fitness Program. Looking back at my childhood now, and knowing all of the physical and mental benefits that yoga affords, I understand why Mom coped as well as she did with the madness my brother and I created around the house. Later, as I studied for my personal training certification and even now as I continue my fitness education, I realize that, of the seven components of fitness, balance and flexibility are the most ignored.
And balance and flexibility are exactly what I need, both physically and emotionally. From weightlifting, sitting (at a desk, in my car, in front of a television), and stretching only sporadically, my joints feel stiff and inflexible. With all the stress that has blossomed in my life this summer, I have been feeling incredibly unbalanced, as well.
In my search for these two underrated components of fitness, I came across quite a few yoga studios in West Chester, like Symmetry Pilates and Yoga, Spirit of Yoga, Peace Love Art Yoga, and others. All of them offer packages, or you can simply pay as you go with a variety of classes from gentle to power yoga. I’ll visit some of them soon, and once my practice is through, I’ll have found relaxation in the place where, much like the sturdy power of the tree pose, I’ve happily planted roots.