It seems like I’ve been doing yoga forever. It is one of the first activities that I tried and stuck with. I love that one can find it everywhere these days and it is no longer relegated to the metaphysical bookstore on a shelf between Alistair Crowley and Isis Unveiled. I can’t remember why I wanted to start practicing, it just got in my head and I tracked down what I needed to get started. Once I started I knew I liked it from the very beginning. It made me feel better all around, mind, body, and spirit. Yoga felt like coming home.
What has yoga done for me and why do I keep doing it? I get stuck in my head a lot, I’m a thinker and my yoga practice has balanced that out for me. It get’s me out of my head and into my body, it also helps integrate them. Working out in general is a good stress release but yoga changes my mood faster and gives me the skills to cope when things go sideways. Being able to realize your breath patterns while angry and change how you are breathing is powerful and can change a negative situation into a good one.
Yoga has helped me rebuild self esteem and have the awareness to know when and what damage I am doing to myself and stop it. Yoga has helped me love myself and stop negative thoughts from getting to me. Don’t get me wrong I still have fat days and bad days, but it helps to put those days in perspective.
One aspect I didn’t really think yoga would bleed over into is running. Yoga has helped my running in ways that running more would not have. First off is recovery and maintaining range of motion which is what I expected. What I did not expect was full diaphragmatic breathing and breath of fire to help make breathing easier while running. Running can be uncomfortable at times and yoga has helped me know when to push on and when something has gone beyond uncomfortable. When you are learning to run it all feels bad for the most part and yoga helped me separate I am going to hurt myself pain from, oh my god this sucks.
The main reason I keep practicing yoga is that I love it and all the other benefits are the icing on my yoga cake. What do you love about yoga?