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"Naw, I'mma Stay Me"

My name is Gino Jones, one of the co-founders of BCC. Coming to the end of the Mental Health Awareness month, I wanted to write a blog (MY FIRST BLOG EVER!!!!) about what helps to keep me balanced and my stress reliever...YOGA. Hope you enjoy :)

Its 4:00 am and my alarm clock goes off. For the next 3 minutes, I’m just stretching underneath the covers, trying to keep that warmth. Inhale…exhale…its time to rise and get my morning routine started.

Check my phone for the BCC updates, head to the restroom to pee, brush my teeth, wash my face, and get ready for morning prayer…. AMEN

After prayer, I roll out my yoga mat, grab some water, and get started on my yoga app called Down Dog…” Begin to arrive”

Deep inhales, deep exhales, several poses and stretches…its time to greet the sun and start my day!!!

This has been my morning routine for the last 3 years. Early rising, morning prayer, and yoga. The best way for me to start off my day...creating and receiving positivity, peace, patience, and get ready for productivity.

During these three years, I’ve had changes to the starts of my work schedule…8:00 am, 11:00 am, and 7:00 am. All began with 4:00 am wake-ups.

When I tell people that I’m awake at 4:00 am, even though I started work on that 11:00 am shift, I always get asked WHY? “Why not sleep longer so you can have more rest?” or “That’s crazy”. To me, I’ve always been an early riser and I absolutely LOVE the sun!!! So, getting up early is good FOR ME! And yoga allows me to become more centered, calmer, and more relaxed to prepare for whatever challenges the day has for me. It allows me to focus more on how to be in control of my emotions by practicing my breathing patterns and how to remain calm while being bent like a pretzel.

If you’re interested in yoga, just like anything else that you want to add to your life, the first step is you will have to dedicate yourself and your time for practice. There are several yoga apps and books available and there’s no “one size fits all”. Its like trying on a pair of a jeans. Even if you have the right length and width, if it doesn’t feel right, it’s not gonna work.

The second step is finding your practice location, or “safe place”. This is probably the most difficult part because without a place to create and sustain your “balance”, it would defeat the purpose and true meaning of yoga. It does not have to be an entire room, just enough space to accommodate your movement and your breathing, so you’re not feeling stuffy!

And the last step is your mat. There are a ton of different lengths, widths, and thickness. And not to mention…DESIGN!!! You want your mat to be longer than your height, but not too long like a slip and slide!! You want to be able to stretch out and still have space on the mat. Your design of your mat is more like your personality, so find YOURSELF!!!

The time of your sessions will change, as you will change them. Some days, you may only have 10 minutes and other days, you may have 30. ITS YOUR TIME!!!! But no matter how long you put into it, make sure you are present and ready to receive the peace and serenity that you deserve...NAMASTE!!!

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