Why I Do Yoga
I absolutely adore yoga. It all started one summer when I was interning in New York City, and I was eager to try something new. Being the chea--frugal person that I am, I found a studio that offered your first class for free. I ended up loving the class, and the attitude of the teacher and fellow students; the combination of intensity and softness; the introspection it offered while strengthening the external body; the rigor of trying to stay present, while learning to appreciate the distractions. And this studio happened to have an online video library of yoga classes that you could do from the comfort of your own home, so I did just that.
Six years later, I am just as enamored with yoga as I was after that first class. Each time I practice, it brings me something familiar and something new. It has not only changed how I perceive physical fitness, but it has changed how I perceive myself. I am a natural introvert, so I am already very comfortable spending time with my own thoughts, but doing yoga took my self-awareness to a deeper level of understanding. Being more in tune with my body and my mind has translated into every part of my life, from social to work situations, and for that I am forever grateful.
Some days, I only get to do a single pose for 5 minutes. Other days, I have time to do a full 90 minute heated class. It is never the same, and you can't have any expectations, but you can find comfort in knowing that however much you are doing, you will feel better afterwards than you did before. Guaranteed.
One of my biggest pet peeves when I talk to others about yoga is this remark: "I can't do yoga, I'm not flexible enough..." Say this to me, and you will get a blank stare. Guaranteed.
I want to make it perfectly clear that flexibility is not a prerequisite to doing yoga. Will it improve your practice? Yes, of course, but your practice is what improves your flexibility in the first place! Yoga and flexibility have a symbiotic relationship-- the more you build upon one, the more you enhance the other as well.
Another great aspect of yoga is that you don't need to do it for a long period of time to feel the benefits. As mentioned previously, sometimes I only get to do a few stretches in the morning, but those few minutes take me from groggy and sluggish to lively and alert! No cup o' joe required (but I love the taste so I still drink it :)