Opening Up With Yoga

Yoga can change your life. Sometimes you don’t even see it happening other times you do. That change is not on the schedule you might want it to be. But it is there, on the outside or lurking below the surface. The change can be the goal of taking a bad mood into a good mood. I used yoga to help me with overeating when I was working on not binging. But one of the most powerful transformations I have seen that stays with me and reminds me how power practicing yoga can be was when I was in college. This blog is about a young college student who went from being closed off to the world to being open and bright.

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I don’t remember her name but I can picture her in my mind. She was in one of Susan Ann’s yoga classes. Susan Ann taught general yoga at the University of Utah and was my first yoga teacher and inspiration, but this is not her story so enough on her. One girl in my college yoga class was very collapsed in on herself. Her shoulders slumped forward which put her head out of alignment, but most of all she was very closed off. She didn’t smile much and did not invite you to come talk to her. She looked like an interesting person but unapproachable. I remember thinking how uncomfortable it must be to have ones’ shoulders slumped forward and neck jutting out, like a vulture.

Over the course of the semester she started straightening out and not slumping forward She went from someone who did not engage, to talking with other students in the class. As the semester progressed she was brighter, more open and gained two inches in height by standing up correctly. How we hold ourselves directly applies to our life: how we see ourselves and how others see us. Someone who is folded up on themselves is perceived as closed off. It sounds corny when talking about yoga opening one up but it is true.

Yoga helped this young student move forward. She turned out to be a very interesting person who started chatting with a few of us who would talk briefly before and after class. She was excited about how she had changed and grown two inches. She will always have a place in my heart. Namaste.

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