[image-1] Yoga teacher and founder of Bendy Brewski, Beth Cosi, knows how to capture an audience. At this morning’s Creative Mornings Charleston (CMCHS) talk on anxiety, Cosi had the audience — shivering in a chilly Palmetto Brewery — take deep breaths. It’s as simple as that, taking in a deep breath, and letting it go — especially when you pair it with a mantra. Cosi’s? “I am enough.”

CMCHS talks are never boring, and more often than not they’re pretty inspiring. Rarely, though, can I walk away from a creative morning and say that I feel just a little more relaxed. Cosi’s talk this morning was just the breath of fresh air we could all use at the beginning of the year.

Cosi told us that she didn’t have any new year’s resolutions, but rather, a “big ask of 2018.” “I want to really bring it,” Cosi said. After deciding on that resolution (of sorts), Cosi received an email from CMCHS asking her to speak at an upcoming event. Cosi was on board until she realized that the talk had a theme — anxiety.

“When there’s a theme there’s an expectation,” she said. Cosi was tempted to turn down the offer, then realized that she was telling herself a “story of scarcity.” “I recognized that feeling of anxiety. I was asking myself, ‘Do I belong? Am I enough?'”

Cosi asked the audience to raise our hands if we’d ever taken a yoga class before — either with her at a Bendy Brewski Yoga class, or in front of our computer or TV. Almost everyone in the audience had practiced yoga in some capacity. Cosi then asked us to think about why or why not we continue to take yoga classes. Often, the answers, either way are the same: we feel like we belong, or we don’t.

“Yoga takes you from your fight or flight mode to rest and digest almost immediately,” said Cosi, referencing the body’s parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. Your mind on yoga is a heck of a lot more calm than your mind on anxiety. And whether you find this out through a round of sun salutations, back bends, or just a few deep breaths, it’s a lesson we’d all do well to take to heart.

Cosi holds Bendy Brewski classes in local breweries three days a week, as well as classes at Locomotion Fitness in Park Circle. And you can check out a special Valentine’s Day event on, well, V-day (Feb. 14) at Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. The Love to Love You event features yoga and happy hour prices on drinks from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Learn more about Cosi at bethcosi.com.

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