I am just going to throw it out there right now that I am in no way, shape or form trying to paint a picture that I am a yogi.
Actually, I couldn’t be further from it. I’m in reality what I like to call a wannabe yogi.
I follow yoga superstars on Instagram looking at their flexibility with awe, their slender figures bending in ways that I didn’t know were possible and doing so in a way that seems effortless.
I read articles about yoga and the practice and its benefits wishing that I too could turn my mind off completely and be in the moment connecting my mind to my movements without thinking about the emails in my inbox or the laundry list of things I have to do afterwards or could be doing.
I hear about the lifestyles that they lead by being so in tune with their body. They eat what fuels them, they eat clean foods, drink the purest of juices and are mindful of their diets. While I on the other hand am trying to tell myself not to go for the handful of M & M’s. Now, I’m by no means a bad eater, but when scouring the Internet I’ve found that those who practice yoga tend to eat more whole, nurturing foods because their “body is their temple.” This could be a huge stereotype but I don’t mean it to be negative, a healthy lifestyle is nothing but positive!
Like I said before, I’m not a yogi and don’t claim to be. What I am however, is a person who is stepping outside of their comfort Zone to try something new.
I’m the type of person who wants to be drenched by the end of my workout and the more pain and burpees the larger the sense of achievement I feel afterwards.
So, it was for these reasons that I never gave yoga a chance or gave yoga any credit for being a challenging workout.
To all the yogis reading this, I thought yoga was lame. Nothing more than a really long stretching session. But, I’m coming forward right now and apologizing because my preconceived notions were unfounded and baseless claims.
I’m slowly but surely adding yoga into my fitness routine and whether it’s a quick morning session or paired with an afternoon run I am slowly but surely realizing and experiencing the benefits of yoga first hand.
For starters, yoga is hard. There are no mincing words when I say that yoga is hard.
Each move activates different muscles and muscles that I didn’t even know existed.
It’s far beyond physical strength it’s mental strength. The strength to stay in the position and push through that mental barrier that tells you you can’t do it.
To this point, yoga connects your mind to your body in a way that makes you really be in tune with your motions and the position you are currently in.
During yoga I actually focus on my breathing and am mindful of the times when I hold my breath or am struggling to hold a position. Yoga lets me be in that moment and this is something that’s new to me.
The other morning I was doing a quick 20 minute power yoga video and the instructor said, “Be where you are.” This is probably the biggest lesson I’ve taken away from yoga thus far.
Not only during the actual exercise is this sentiment very important but this quote is applicable to life in general.
I’m guilty of if. I find myself lost in the shuffle of daily life commiserating about yesterday’s mishaps and anxiously anticipating the next hours or day’s events. It’s this continual way of thinking that has continually removed me from the present moment.
Sometimes when I feel myself worrying about tomorrow I repeat to myself “Be where you are” almost as a mange of sorts.
So as a yoga newbie I first have to commend those who are seasoned veterans of the practice and can only hope that as time goes on I continue to incorporate this exercise into my workout routine.
Are you a yoga fan? If so, I want to know why!