I was tangled up in some extremely weird looking pose thinking if you were a stranger to yoga you would think how on earth will that benefit you. I know when I was doing personal training, my instructor would often say, but I like to sweat, yoga is just too boring. Once upon a time, I thought that too. But I can tell you right now, that is a myth. I sweat, I breathe, I push myself into these awkward positions-but in return I have never been more flexible, I am getting more toned and am full of love and compassion.
I’ve had years of working in hospitality or lugging heavy film equipment and now often sitting in front of a computer all day. I’ve realized that without yoga I would be a sorry sack of aches and pains. I have been doing classes off and on since I was about 17 and it has always been my savior. Last night, I thought to myself, I am going to do this for the rest of my life because it makes me feel good. That is after all my biggest and most simple mantra, if it feels good do it, if it doesn’t, then don’t.
I have especially loved my classes at Yoga Concepts in Richmond where I’ve been going for over a year. My instructor Jane is a poster girl for why you should do yoga, she looks amazing. But it is not just that, she also starts every session with positive words about caring for your inner and outer self, having a compassionate heart, how important breathing is. So every time I enter the room, no matter how I’m feeling, I always leave with a clear head and good thoughts.
I think we can all forget just how important stretching is and not just after going for a big run. Someone at my work said the other day that sitting at our desks all day is like what smoking cigarettes were like in the 50s, acceptable but bad for your health. It is no surprise that I get neck and shoulder pain when I’m all hunched over my desk, or even sore wrists when typing too much. That is why doing things like yoga is so beneficial. My posture is straighter, my core is stronger and I feel more energized. But we could all help ourselves by getting up more often and walking around the office, going outside for your lunch break and even doing a quick stretch.
The other great thing about my yoga class is the meditation factor. It is a way to clear your mind and forget about stress. Simply focusing on your breathing can be one way or through visualization, there are many techniques. Lewy & I have done meditation classes together where you also learn to clear and balance your chakras. He gets up and meditates every morning which I know I should do too. But I also meditate in different ways. When I run, I focus on my breathing and the music and there is nothing else. When I swim, it is the same-ok bar the music bit. Sometimes when I sit on the tram, I close my eyes and breathe and do the same. Yes I may look like that weird girl who has fallen asleep on the tram, but in fact, I am probably more aware and alert that most of the weary eyed travelers.
Point is, most of us live in a world where we all get so busy and wrapped up with schedules and work, so we all need to give ourselves some tender loving care too. I am renowned for being an extremely busy girl, but I also believe I give balance to my life by doing things like yoga or doing exercise or stopping to read a book on my own. Lewy started doing the classes with me too and I’ve noticed just how much stronger and flexible he has become-and hey it’s a nice thing to do together. I turn 32 this year and I feel better than I ever have, so isn’t that saying something. I also know as I get older, I don’t want to be weighed down by negative thoughts. So either tangled up in some crazy pose or doing my downward dog, it is good to know I am doing something for my physical body, my inner emotional and spiritual self and creating a more beautiful mind in the process.