Why do yoga?
It’s an easy enough, three word question that has stumped the hell out of me.
Most people will expect an answer that includes toned arms, incredible flexibility, peace of mind, or some combination of all of that. Yes, those are definitely valid reasons why and I’ll eventually write about all that scientific stuff but today, I’ll say, it’s more.
The fact that I’m a new instructor and I struggle to put into words what yoga means to me bothered me, so I soaked in it. And I ended up with this age-old adage from the Rolling Stones, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you just might find you get what you need.”
Before I got certified, before I even thought of becoming a teacher, I was in it just cause I wanted something better to do with my time. I was bored with my routine and a little bit lost – in other words, I was your basic 20-something on a heavy grind 🙂 What started out as a curiosity became a fitness routine, evolved into a daily motivator, and now it’s my mirror.
I don’t find any answers on the mat, it’s no magic like that. Instead, I get exactly what I need .
The act of breathing in and out, the rhythm and the flow of the poses, noticing what’s happening in my body – the simplicity and the focus of it all breaks me into parts until I’m left with just myself. The me without the ego, without the impulsive emotions, without the negative self-talk. I meet me and on good days when I feel like listening, meeting myself gets me to act in a certain way, laugh at myself, recognize real problems I’ve refused to acknowledge, and even take leaps of faith 🙂
Every person’s encounter with yoga is different and yeah, mine sounds a little trippy but it’s my experience so I call it valid – whatever experience you end up with, it’s yours to keep. Steady practice will definitely bring strength, flexibility and balance (just like this helpful infographic will tell you), and if you ask me in person I’ll probably say those things first. But what else will you find? How will it complement your life?
As a teacher, I’m exploring how to get people in touch with the non-physical benefits of yoga, without pressuring them to feel like they have to be zen masters at the end of a class. In all honesty, the physical benefits come faster. The mental and emotional ones, they come once you’re ready 🙂
Like everything that’s worth anything, you gotta trust the process and there’s just no other way around it. (If you want to start your practice with me, click here).
I know this on painful authority. My life right now is all about trusting the process and that’s partially why I’m back on my largeworld blog — because the struggle is real.
This blog will be about yoga, but it’ll also be about what makes yoga hard, the times the sight of a mat can just be plain frustrating, how changing careers can make you cry and all other versions of honest #realtalk. Thought I’d just share the love.
Ending this post with some good old Rolling Stones 🙂