The Gift of Yoga – Balance
Why I started yoga?
I started practicing yoga consistently approximately three years ago when a friend suggested that I try taking classes at her studio. I had been searching for a strong yoga studio for quite some time after many years of interval training. As I get older, I have become less interested in high impact classes, which can really strain the body. I started getting hip and lower back pain and injuring various muscles. So, going to workout classes became more of a chore and less of an enjoyable aspect of my life as it had once been. At that point, I knew I had to follow the quintessential advice that I offer clients – find a type/style of physical activity that you love and then you will be more inclined to stick with it. I immediately loved power flow yoga classes since I felt like I could get a great workout without having to strain my body. The classes also really helped my flexibility, focus, and balance.
When you think of yoga, what comes to mind?
I think of relief, calm, strength, and fun (when I attempt new poses and inversions!). Yoga is a sacred place to clear my mind and forget about my worries and responsibilities, while cherishing a special hour when others can guide me through the journey of nurturing and replenishing my mental and physical strength. I believe that one of the key aspects to life is knowing when and how to lead as well as knowing when and how to follow and let others lead the way – the ability to feel your power and then let go of your power at will facilitates the path to inner balance.
What makes me keep going to yoga classes?
I feel at home when I walk into the studio as I receive such a warm welcome from the instructors, which inspires and motivates me to keep coming back. The yoga instructors I tend to gravitate toward are challenging, yet highly supportive and non-threatening when trying new poses and inversions. I am not worried about how I look when practicing yoga since the atmosphere is conducive to feelings of safety and acceptance regardless of everyone’s yoga level. This experience is similar to many aspects of life – whether someone seeks out a psychologist, a physician, a friend, a partner, support group, workplace environment, etc. A sense of unconditional acceptance, which has enhanced my yoga practice in ways I did not think possible, can most likely foster someone’s quest for serenity and/or behavior change. Last, but not least, I appreciate the thoughtful quotes, passages, and stories uttered by each and every instructor, who take the time to share their stories, pain, vulnerability, or simply positive messages that can undoubtedly benefit our lives. Sharing spiritual journeys normalize who we are as individuals and demonstrate that we need the support of others to maintain emotional, mental, and physical strength and, ultimately, balance.