In college I went to half a dozen different kinds of yoga classes all in which I either walked out in the middle or left feeling more agitated than before. I was a complete cardio junky at that time so if I wasn’t moving at a steady speed for a prolonged period, it wasn’t worth my time. Having struggled with anxiety and panic disorder, so many therapists, yogis, hippies and friends had tried to convince me that yoga could be life changing. I so badly wanted to like it, so I continued my yoga journey post college, dropping into to random classes in my city but still feeling unsatisfied. It wasn’t until I became acquainted with a yoga therapist that my attitude towards the practice began to change. I began to stop looking at yoga as a form of purely physical exercise but understanding the importance of the mental side. (Any yogi who is reading this must think I’m dumb for missing the entire purpose of the practice, but the importance of the mental side was never relayed to me clearly inside the studio). So I began to move away from viewing yoga as a sport, into seeing it as a practice. If I focused on it as pure meditation with the physical aspect there to create a challenge it began to be enjoyable. I had experimented with nearly every form of meditation at this point in my life (even hypnosis) but I was never much of a person who sits still very well. Yoga has become my go-to source of meditation. I do my best to practice it daily even if its just 5 minutes in the morning after a workout.
The world would be a more peaceful place if everyone did yoga! I’m trying to spread the word to change any negative perception of the practice.
Quotes by Those Resistant to Yoga
“I’m not flexible so I can’t do yoga”
Yoga does not require flexibility. Flexibility is an outcome of the practice. Your form never needs to look like the instructor’s. As long as you are comfortably getting into similar (and safe) poses you will achieve the same benefits.
“Yoga is boring” -said by me not too long ago
Change your mindset. Yoga is a mental practice. If you focus on going inside yourself rather than how your classmates will view your warrior pose, you will feel differently. Allow your practice to be a mental challenge, focusing on nothing else except for what you feel in the exact moment.
“Yoga is for women only”
So relaxation isn’t for men?! Who are you?!