My relationship with yoga is a long and winding one.
I first took classes in graduate school because my friend was convinced it would be good for us as we sat slumped over computers writing our Masters Theses. It lasted about 2 months before we stopped going to class in lieu of going to Paul’s Deli (aka the grad student bar in Williamsburg). I started again at my very fancy gym on Capitol Hill with a class complete with a fountain and customized yoga mats. When I gave up the fancy gym after 6 months, yoga went with it. Over the years I tried various classes with varying degrees of success and commitment.
I JUST FOUND YOGA BORING… My personality requires movement and quick results and leaving a workout REALLY sweaty. Yoga is none of those things. People raved about their “practice”, but to me yoga was just stretching with more expense. I loved Bikram (hot yoga), but my favorite studio location and the expense do not work well with my family budget or lifestyle at this particular point in time.
As with so many things, I had to learn the lesson SLOWLY that perhaps my perspective on yoga needed to shift. This past fall I read Kristin Armstrong’s book Mile Markers: The 26.2 Reasons Why Women Run. It was a great read and she talked a lot about having incorporated yoga into her running routine. I’d been dealing with some chronic calf issues and thought, maybe I need to check that out. You know when you have a thought like that and one of two things happen…
1. You forget, get busy and move on…
2. The path becomes VERY, VERY CLEAR
Literally the day after I finished the book, my neighbor opened a yoga studio in her beautifully finished basement. And I went. And I was bored. But somehow my injuries felt a little better. And I thought, maybe I’ll use this as nice opportunity for stretching. (Plus I did not want to be rude. My mother’s voice was in my head reminding me to be respectful of my lovely neighbor and NOT QUIT.) The studio was beautiful – just the right mix of zen and comfort. And the owner, Joy, was just what I needed. Loving, kind and yogi-esqe while remaining down to earth.
I have been going to yoga almost every week since the end of September. AND I LOVE it. I cannot believe how much better, calmer, and more accepting of my almost-40 year-old self I feel. And bonus – I am smaller!! I cannot believe how much my body has changed since entering the yoga world.
It was definitely one of those exercise practices that took time and I had to find the studio/ teacher that was right for me. Joyoga has been delightful and if you ever want to join me, I will be there at 5:45 am on Wednesday mornings.