I used to hate yoga. I thought it was too slow paced and boring. Of course, then, I didn’t know the amazing benefits it could provide. It wasn’t until my junior year of college that I sort of figured it out.
I was doing an internship at a gym and one of my tasks was to take all the group exercise classes they offered. Yoga was one of those classes. I came in that morning thinking it would be boring and I would quickly lose interest. I took off my shoes, I unrolled my yoga mat, took a deep breath and went for it.
At the end of the class I felt so at peace. At that time in my life I was in a really bad relationship. I was always upset about something my boyfriend at the time did or said. Feeling peaceful then was a nice change for me. I took notice of how that class made me feel but I never took one again. I'm not sure why.
After the trauma I went through I was looking for an outlet, something to make me feel in control of my mind and body. Then I remembered that yoga class I took and how I remember feeling at peace. I did some research on the benefits of yoga and discovered it’s so much more than being able to do cool poses like you see on Instagram today.
Yoga does amazing things for your body. It increases flexibility, it betters your posture, it helps build muscle strength, and so many more amazing things. For me, yoga is so much more than that. Although it doesn’t hurt to get those benefits, the real reason I do it is to calm my mind and find my soul. I also found that it has helped my self-esteem which is something I don’t have much of. It makes me feel like I am a part of something bigger in this world where I feel so small at times.
Yoga has become a passion of mine. I practice often even if that means rolling out my mat in my bedroom and holding a few poses. The deep breathing that is practiced in yoga gets rid of all the negative in my mind and replaces it with peace. The poses ground me to the earth and make my body feel like it is mine. It never fails to change my mood for the better.
I recently read the book “Yoga Girl” by Rachel Brathen and something she said really stuck with me. “The Yoga pose is not the goal. Becoming flexible is not the goal. Standing on your hands is not the goal. The goal is to create space where you were once stuck. To unveil the layers of protection you’ve built around your heart. To appreciate your body and become aware of the mind and the noise it creates. To make peace with who you are. The goal is to love, well… You. Come to your yoga mat to feel; not to accomplish. Shift your focus and your heart will grow.”
I really struggle with loving myself and my body. It’s something I have been working hard to change. Yoga helps me with that. I come to my mat every time to feel.
My dream is to one day become a yoga instructor and then to one day open my own studio. I want to teach others what I have learned on this journey through yoga.
If you have never done yoga before, I strongly suggest trying it out! You can go online and look up your local yoga studio or you can jump on Youtube and find a video. Give it a chance and remember to feel.