In the latest episode of Tea with Shira, our brand ambassador teams up with a friend to learn how yoga pairs well with yarn crafting. This guest post was written by AJ Wolbrum.
Hi #roarers! I'm AJ, a yoga instructor based in NYC and Shira's childhood friend. I am not here to convert you to buy a mat, get some new gear and call yourself a yogi, but I am here to tell you that yoga can enhance what you already love to do. And what I can gather as to why you are reading this post is what really makes your heart sing is the sacred art of knitting and crocheting. I do not use the word 'sacred' lightly. Knitting and crocheting tap into an ancient ritual (like yoga) of coming together for a common purpose; to achieve a specific goal; and a direct side effect is an opportunity for introspection. Yes, you can potentially achieve enlightenment from knitting your afghan.
Now, here's the thing; You don't need to do much to receive the benefits of yoga, but you do have do something. My recommendation is to just get on the floor. Once you're on the floor your body will want to move. Another suggestion is to lift your arms in the air. Let the blood flow in a new way. This has very therapeutic benefits and will give your wrists and hands a needed flush of oxygen. One more easy addition to your practice is simply observing your breath. Notice if your mind starts to wander and all of a sudden you've forgotten to exhale. If you could add an awareness of breath and thread it into your knitting/crocheting routine, you will immediately see a change in mood and the integrity of your work.
How does yoga relate to crafting? Simply put, the repetitive action of knitting/crocheting causes similar bodily reactions as yoga. Knitting or crocheting, like yoga, slows down the brain, tells the body to go into restore mode and allows time for the body to heal from the inside out. They both reduce levels of cortisol -- the stress hormone -- and shut down overactive brain noise. Mindfulness will allow you to stitch longer with deeper awareness and a sense of ease. We're talking about connection here. Connection to self. Connection to the material you are working with and connection to each other. About cultivating inner peace and a sense of community through activities that bring people together.
So grab a friend, get on the floor and do what you love because this life is all about one thing, working from heart and whenever you come from that place magical things will happen.