I “did” yoga on and off for several years before I finally learned how to practice yoga. Previously, yoga never clicked for me the way it did this year. I took a few yoga classes at the gym, but it was always difficult for me to let my mind turn off. I would get startled every time the men working out next door would slam the weights on the ground Kind of hard to get your namaste on. So I would quit. Then, the next year, I’d do the whole cycle over again.
There was a yogi in me somewhere, I knew it, but I wasn’t able to channel her. I always like the idea of yoga, and the meditative, quiet state of mind it produces, but I never really got it. I would sit in Sukhasana, trying to let my mind quiet then, SLAM (men dropping weights outside). Or then I would start to think about what I wanted to make for dinner. Never did my mind quiet. I was never able to understand what yoga was about.
Suddenly this year, something changed. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I’m now older, wiser, and at a different point in my life then I was in my early 20’s. In my later 20’s I grew, and became a strong, hard-working woman. And lately, yoga found its way back into my life again. This time though, in an entirely different way then it ever had before.
I knew how I wanted to start: No more gym yoga. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with doing yoga at the gym. Any type of yoga, in my opinion, is a wonderful addition to anyone’s life. But I wanted to get something different from my yoga practice this time. I wanted to get that mind quieting, meditative, blissed out, hand stand, fully balanced, this is what yoga is all about-experience. So, I joined a yoga studio. Once I didn’t have slamming weights in the back ground, it was much easier for me to quiet my mind. The studio incorporates things like essential oils, acupuncture, practicing restorative poses, things I couldn’t get at my gym.
Something finally clicked, and I understood what yoga was all about. All of a sudden, I became slightly obsessed. I was reading about it, thinking about it, and practicing it constantly. The more time went on and I consistently continued to practice, I noticed my quality of life change. I was significantly less stressed and anxious. One of the biggest gifts, was that I finally learned how to quiet my mind and not think about anything while I practice. Being fully aware and in the moment when I practice has allowed me to understand people’s yoga obsession.
I knew that my next problem was consistency. I had a tendency of starting yoga, and then not following through. Having a busy life and a full-time job sometimes makes getting to the studio a bit difficult. So, I downloaded an app. This has got to be my second most used app. It allows me to do yoga on my own time, for as long as I want. I can also decide what “type” of yoga I want to practice (relaxing, strengthening, etc). Extra bonus points for setting an ambiance at home, light a couple of candles, and turn on your own custom yoga playlist. Home practice mixed with the studio has been the best combination for me.
I still have a way to go before I can perfect a handstand, but as my yoga teacher said last class, “I am exactly where I am supposed to be, no more, no less.” Given the amount of time I have been consistently practicing so far, I am exactly where I should be. My journey with yoga has only just begun, and I can’t wait to see where it will take me.
I encourage you to try yoga for yourself. Your mind, body, and heart will thank you!