Ethos Yoga


As a compliment to my calling as a chiropractor, I am yogi and have been for decades now.  If you are in the yoga community, you know that there are online yoga challenges happening all the time, all over the world.  I finally decided to join one called “#yogaeverydamnday”.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

The point of this challenge is have yoga as part of “every damn day” no matter what.  It doesn’t mean to strike a pose and take a picture (although to some people it does).  Yoga is a way to mindfulness…or is it mindfulness is a way to yoga?  To me, they are one and the same.  To me, it also means to move the body in some mindful way to bring our awareness and existence back to the present moment.

Every day I would find a bit of time, some days was a little and some days was a lot, to do some form of yoga and then share a bit about that day.  (It is all on Instagram @drericapeabody)
Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

I have been a yogi for over 20 years.  In a past life, I taught yoga for years inside of a gym setting (have I told you that in said “past life” I was a group fitness instructor?).  I also took Yoga Teacher Training with Ethos Yoga about 4 years ago.  I didn’t take the teacher training curriculum in order to teach yoga in my current life, it was more about bringing even further awareness into my own personal practice, I don’t have the ability to commit to more in my regular week at the current moment.  Who knows, maybe someday.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

You also probably know about the walking boot I am currently wearing that I discussed in one of the “Sitting on the Sidelines” blog posts.  My physical yoga practice has taken a back seat to my healing and I haven’t been able to attend many classes since June.  Following my summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in March I was fine while taking a yoga class, but after class my foot would start screaming and I decided was not doing it any favors to continue so I took a break.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

September rolled around and one of the people I follow on Instagram, Rachel Brathen aka “Yoga Girl”, decided to do her “Yoga Every Damn Day” challenge for 30 days.  I needed a little shift for myself and decided I would join.

After decades of yoga, I like to attend very specific hot, intense and sweaty classes with specific instructors.  I am reminded of the irony of having rigid guidelines of classes and instructors as I practice more and more yoga…seems it should be the other way around.  Honestly, if I am going to be in class, I want to spend my time exactly how I want to practice and I have my favorite instructors all over the region, just depends on the day and time for which one I would attend.

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

I also love yoga for the community aspect of it.  Doing yoga with other people has a very different feel than practicing solo, or at least in my mind.

I am currently limited in my range of motion as well as the ability to get into different postures.  But inside of the the 30 day challenge framework I just mentioned, I learned so much.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

During the month I did make it to a couple classes, having to modify almost every posture…I learned new modifications.

Some days I felt like I am all the way back to square one with my practice, a beautiful reminder of all the progress i have made.

The only way in and out of the postures is through breath and where in my life can I take some deep breathes?

As the 30 days progressed, I relished going back to the basics and cherished the strength I have built in my core.

My movements were slow and very deliberate.  Where else in my life can I be slower and more deliberate?

I had to change many of the transitions in and out of postures.  Are there other paths in my life I can or should alter?Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

As I look around in life, I see so many ways yoga has opened my eyes and offered me different perspective on life outside of the yoga studio.  That is the whole point of yoga and is one of the most powerful parts of having a regular practice.

Of course there is also the part about being flexible so as life comes at me, I can bend instead of breaking.

Thank you #yogaeverydammnday challenge, i have learned more in the past 30 days about myself and my life and how to alter and modify things and be ok with doing less than I am used to.  In the end, I am so very very grateful that my body even allows me to move around like this at all…and I am (fingers crossed) can announce that I am on my way (although slow) back to a BOOT FREE LIFE!!!!


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I have a very tiny home that I go to about 4 days a week.  It is about 2 feet by 6 feet and is easy to transport and move from place to place.  This tiny home is my yoga mat.

As I enter the yoga room, I always find myself gravitating to the same location on the floor.  In one yoga studio is is one particular location, in another studio it is another spot and the third is still quite a different spot.  There is a feel to the location in the room and is all very much part of my process.

I usually arrive early, sometimes 30 minutes early, because I want to be in that same spot.  It may be a location where just a class or 2 before, I found myself staring at a ceiling tile and bursting out laughing.  It may be a spot that just the day before, I left a huge puddle of tears on the floor.  It may be a place that a week prior I had such an awesome flow and was really linked in to whomever was practicing next to me…either way there is a reason, and I cannot always put my finger on the why of my choice in locations.fenton chiropractor yoga room

When I arrive at the perfect place for my tiny home, I line my mat up perfectly parallel to the planks of the wood floor, fold my hand towel in half and put it near the top of my mat and find the ideal un-kick-able spot for my water bottle.

As I am laying on my mat waiting for class to start, I spend a little time observing others as they walk in to find their “spot” to set up their tiny home for the next 60-75 minutes of their lives.  It is interesting the process they go through.

Some walk in confidently, drop their mat, roll it out, set up their water, climb on and lay down to meditate.

Others set up their tiny home, lay down, get back up and move to the opposite side of the room with a “something about the mojo of that spot isn’t quite right” tone to their walk.

Still others will stand by the door and survey the scene to decide their plot before making a move and others will stand and have a discussion with their friends about perfect location for their tiny homes.

There is such a magic to all the happenings.  People arrive at different times for different reasons but one by one we all stake our claim to a 2 feet by 6 feet plot of wood floor to set up our tiny home and by the time class is about to start…it is all in perfect order.

The floor of the yoga room is covered in brightly colored mats of all shades, big towels, little towels, water bottles of all shapes, sizes and colors, and beautiful bodies of all shapes, sizes and colors that have found a “tiny home”.

The dance begins.  The music fills the room.  The sweat pours onto the mats.  There is reckless abandonment during the flow…a vulnerability that you would only find if you were inside your own home and no one was watching.  The bodies turn and twist into all kinds of shapes and forms and the energy is indescribable.

The classes I attend are taught with such incredible intensity that it sometimes takes everything I have to keep breathing just to make it through the next movement.  When I am physically working that hard, there is no time to play with other thoughts in my mind and it is a 60-75 minute moving meditation.  The only goal ever set out by the instructor is to “keep breathing and stay on your mat”, in other words…”stay in your tiny home”.

At the end, everyone lays down on their backs and melts into the floor.  All the hard work, the physical, mental and emotional garbage has a chance to settle out and be absorbed by the floor of the tiny homes we have set up for ourselves.

When all is said and done, we all roll up our tiny homes and head out into the world.  It is the feeling that has filled the body at that very moment that gets us all to come back time and time again for years.

Our tiny homes find their usual spot in the back seat or trunk of our vehicles waiting for the next 2 feet by 6 feet plot of wood floor in another yoga room to stake claim of next time the chance arises.

The tiny home that I go to on a regular basis, though exposed to the elements of the room and surrounded by people within inches, is a profound place of peace for me.  I hope you have a place like that for yourself somewhere in your life as well.  Namaste.

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As many of you know, I practice yoga…a lot. I have been committed to cultivating my inner yogi for the past 4 years and spend 2-3 nights at Ethos Yoga Studio in Holly
It is one of my passions and helps to make me a better person in this world. My usual classes are Monday and Wednesday night over at Ethos and Friday afternoon either there or down at Center For Yoga in Birmingham It is therapeutic for me; mind, body and spirit. It is absolutely one of the greatest things I have added to my life and spend a lot of time talking about it during the day at the Cafe of LIFE. In order for the body to be and stay healthy, it needs to move. I haven’t found a better way to move the body than to flow and twist and turn in a yoga class and would highly recommend it in some way to everyone.
Tomorrow starts a new phase of yoga for me. I am always on the hunt for rich, rewarding experiences and I will begin a Yoga Teacher Training course over at Ethos Yoga. The course is 3 months long and is designed to immerse trainees in the yoga philosophy. We will be practicing yoga on a daily basis on our own or in a class. We will develop a personal meditation practice on our own and in class. We will change our eating habits to vegetarian or vegan. So this is going to be in addition to what I already have going on which is running a really fun chiropractic practice, hosting an amazing Book Club, giving Half Hour to Health lectures, participating in an awesome Walking Club, being a dog mom, and a runner amongst many other activities I am involved in. It means getting up an hour earlier and time managing a little better. It means studying and spending a lot of down time reading and writing. I look forward to it. I will keep you posted during the process.
(pictures are right off Ethos website; Kel Leigh Coale photography)
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