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Natural Awakenings Bucks and Montgomery Counties PA

The Less Stressway

Jul 31, 2022 05:07PM ● By Nicole Zornitzer

Recently, as I was driving a convertible on the open road of Florida’s Turnpike, enjoying the scenery and the warm air brushing across my cheek, I saw this inspirational sign along the road—“The Less Stressway”. I pondered on this thought for the remainder of my journey.

   What if we all could find moments in our day, our month, our year to experience The Less Stressway. What if we had the knowledge that life is too short to worry all the time? What if we created happiness in the smallest of moments and contentment in the mundane? 

   I write this article with the candid knowledge that I am still also learning to let go, learning to appreciate the small moments, learning to decrease the creeping sense of anxiety or stress. I am no different than probably most of you who are continually bombarded with social media, financial stress, insecurity, relationship challenges, overwhelming responsibilities and moments of dismay.

   This idea led me to again think about how my journey on the yoga mat has provided me an outlet for releasing unnecessary negative energy as well as a source of strength. The lessons we learn from a seasoned yoga professional are deep. Yoga is not about the pose. It’s not about the temperature in the room. It’s not about flexibility and it most certainly is not about going into difficult inversions. Yoga is about finding our internal source of strength and confidence when the waters appear too deep. Yoga is about finding a paddle in rough seas and learning how to process information with a clear mind that is not muddled by the continual misinformation about what is and what isn’t. Yoga is finding the ability to separate reality from what the ego at times is telling us.

   When we find the ability to illuminate our power on a yoga mat, we find ourselves balanced and happy in this moment versus seeking something that is unrealistic or intangible. When we practice the art of asana or yoga postures on the mat, becoming acutely in tune with what our body needs in that moment instead of what we think we “should” be doing, we achieve a moment of annandamayakosha, also known as bliss body.

   My own journey of illuminating on the mat has been interesting and forever changing. The body ages, the mind matures and desires change. The one constant, however, is showing up and accepting exactly where I am without judgment.

   When we release judgment regarding the unknown, we do find The Less Stressway. There is one fact that I am certain about and that is that stress will lead to dis-ease; therefore, it is essential that we, as a society, find the tools and mechanisms to find our own path to wellness and ease. 

   As I drove down that highway, I realized my destination—enjoying The Less Stressway and embracing the now.

Nicole Zornitzer, ERYT 1000, yoga therapist, founder of Niyama Yoga & Wellness Shala, located in Randolph, New Jersey; Upper Lake Mohawk in Sparta, New Jersey; Roseland, New Jersey; and Delray Beach in Florida.