I am going to be honest- I tried yoga so many times and never got into it. In college I even took a semester of yoga where we practiced and studied the art from the original Tibetan yogis (my instructor was super legit and actually practiced with them). Becca – one of my besties—tried to get me to practice (knowing my inclination toward stress). Emily—another one of my besties—invited me to yoga with her on the reg, as it was her get-away and sanctuary. I just couldn’t be persuaded (albeit their- and my own – best efforts).
Why I didn’t yoga –> The practice slowed me down too much. I had to be still, focus on breath, and let go of all the things happening in my brain and in my world. That was way too hard. Give me an overly heavy weight to thrust over my head, no problem. Give me a to-do list to accomplish in 12 hours that really takes 18 hours to complete, I got that. Tell me to run to the other side of the state for a charity, that’s a breeze (well, sort of…). But gently ask me to sit still and concentrate on my breaths- to- movements, now that is asking a lot.
My brain would not quiet, which shed some light on the reality of my attitude and life at the time. I was all about going, going, going (probably faster than the Energizer Bunny himself), when what I needed was to pause, stop, and sit. I remember a client came back into the office after a long hiatus, and he looked great. Super rested, toned, and alert. What was he doing to get to this level of health? “I slowed down,” he said. “When I stopped trying to do so much, my body started feeling better. I got stronger. So now I focus on staying calm and listening to my body.”
Impressive. That’s what I wanted, and I knew at the surface he was 100% right. But the deepest part of my busy core fought that notion.
Why I chose to yoga –> Fast forward a couple of years. Becca moved to Atlanta and started teaching at a local studio. “Just come try it with me!” Well, it’s active, and I like anything active, so I’ll try it.”
Friends, I was hooked. Something about that class proved to me yoga was more than just sitting in a still focus. It required core, strength, and stability. So I continued to go, and ironically (although God is far from ironic with His timing) that is when my idea of a calmer life started to become my reality (because this crazy overly busy lifestyle thing is absolutely not sustainable, especially if I plan to be around this life until I am 95 🙂 )
#WhyIYoga –> This is the motto at my studio. For me, yoga helped increase my core strength, which has stepped up my boxing game and has also sent me leaps and bounds ahead in my voice lessons. My vocal coach said, “Yoga has strengthened your core so much that you are hitting notes you’ve never hit!” Great, I’ll take that. Yoga has also been good for my mind. It strengthens the patience I must carry for my own body.
Everyone’s reason for yoga-ing is different. Some of us need energy, while others need calm. Still others appreciate strength, and some love the stretch. At the end of the day, though, we all yoga because it brings us back to our bodies, our cores.
Try yoga. It can be whatever you need it to be for you. It is an amazing practice. Bend a little, and trust the process.