Why I Started Yoga
You may have heard me mention before that I was going to make 2019 my year for taking up new opportunities. This included adding a daily, well almost daily, routine of exercise. But I HATE exercise. Being sweaty, out of breath, finding the time, the fear of looking bulky instead of slender, it all just sucks. Not to mention the fact that my personality is one of instant gratification. If I don’t see results after one workout, why bother?
The irony is, in order for me to fully see results, or get to where I want to be, I need to take things down a notch and start slow. When I tried to do my first push up in years or trying to get through one burpee, I realized how weak I actually was. I couldn’t get through 2 minutes of exercise without my legs or arms about to give out.
So I asked myself, how can I build up to that point? Sure if I kept at it over time I would begin to build muscle strength. The thing is, I just didn’t like the feeling of all that energy afterward. Sounds crazy right? I know from a few of my friends who workout religiously that that’s the feeling they love after a good workout.
Why do I think differently? To be blunt, I work fast paced non stop, 8-10 hours a day, 40-45 hours a week. My life is fast paced. I don’t want to make it any faster than what it is and be even more drained than what I am. I am a firm believer that too much energy is not good for anyone.
The Birth of Yoga Practice
In my fast paced life, and the amount of stress endured in the mist of all of it, I decided to give yoga a try. I have always wanted to and being my year for opportunities, it was time to finally give it a go.
Now let me just stop here and say I absolutely, 100% started taking yoga for all the wrong reasons. I would see posts on Instagram or pinterest of people doing insane poses. I would watch videos of people doing some pretty incredible stretches. That was honestly the main reason I started taking yoga. I thought, “I want to do that and yoga will help me!” After all, yoga is nothing but stretching the body like your warming up for a game or something right? WRONG!
My 30 Yoga Challenge
I gave yoga a try for 30 days. Did I do it everyday for 30 days? No, but I did add it into my routine as much as I could when I could find the time. The days I woke up early, yes. When the boys went to bed, yes. After a long shift at work and it’s 2 am, yes. Even if it was just 5-10 minutes of breathing and letting myself just ground, I did it.
What I discovered soon after was that yoga was far more than just stretching. It was a way for me to release all the stress that I have built up. On the plus side, I was helping my body build up that strength that I didn’t have before when I was working out. Which by the way, I have started working out again a couple days a week and have realized I can do more than when I first started. By increasing my muscle strength with simple yoga poses, my muscles don’t get tired so quickly. Tho, I still do hate exercise.
My mindset has improved as well. The breathing I mentioned earlier, allows me to just center myself and ground to get back on track. Very helpful after dealing with an extremely irate customer. I have started to learn a few simple techniques that work best for me to do in situations like that that only take a few minutes to do. By allowing myself to center and ground, I feel more relaxed and more eager to get things done because I took just a few minutes to release any negative thoughts or emotions that have been swirling around in my mind and body.
Am I an expert?
No, not even close. Yoga is far more than just simple poses. It is a practice to a way of life that one chooses to live, one that I want to live. A 30 minute workout may be great but what is the point of looking good on the outside when you don’t feel good on the inside. Each yoga session I do is never the same. To me, yoga is like a dance. As I allow my body to flow from one pose to another, I am allowing my body and mind to do the work that needs to be done in order to achieve a euphoric state of mind. It is a beautiful practice and I encourage others to try it.
Where do I Stand Now?
As mentioned, I believe yoga is a beautiful practice. It has done wonders for me since I have started. I decided to take another step in my year of opportunities that I registered to become a yoga teacher myself. Do I have plans on actually teaching it to others? Sure, in the future. But for now, there is much that I still need to learn.
Do you yoga? What has yoga done for you? Share your thoughts!