Today marks International Day of Yoga! Thanks to the United Nations this day was marked official last year. It invites participants and yogis around the world to practice for the love of yoga and share their love of the practice with others. Today I am celebrating my own practice and what it means to me. Of course I will also be celebrating this day with a yoga class this evening.
The first time I tried my hand or should I say body at yoga was Freshman year of college. I found a local studio that held an Intro to Bikram Yoga class and thought I would give it a shot. The room was heated to 105 degrees and I thought I was dying while practicing. I did pretty well with the poses for a beginner but I was struggling to stay hydrated and focused. I felt light-headed and had to take a break which didn’t bode well with the teacher. I left feeling defeated but pretty detoxed.
I decided to give it another try a year later when my photo friends suggested a hot yoga class. We all went as a group which was motivating. The during was always sweaty and challenging but the after was always glorious! I always felt like a new person after hot yoga…detoxed and begging for a shower. But the practice never connected with me on a personal level until last year.
One of my goals last year was to get back into a regular yoga practice but first I had to find a local studio that I loved. I tried a few classes and different studios until I found my current studio. My first class was pretty laid back. The teacher walked around and helped us with our poses. I was drawn to the vibe of this new studio. Classes didn’t seem competitive which is something I disliked about other studios in the past.
I found my place. I found a teacher (more like a few teachers) that I loved learning from. Everything came together for me to dedicate myself to my practice. And then something magical happened. During class one day, I discovered my breath. I discovered the power it had over me. In that moment my practice became something more. It was life.
Yoga has helped me become more confident about my body and it’s capabilities. It’s taught me to honor how I feel in my practice, not pushing any posture or doing anything that may feel uncomfortable. It’s given me a new respect for myself as well as others around me. Yoga has taught me to check in with myself both mentally and physically and acknowledge how I am feeling. It’s helped me become healthier in my life. Yoga has become a life for me and it’s one that I want to continue exploring for years to come! Happy International Day of Yoga!
Do you practice yoga? How did you get started? What drew you into practicing yoga? Share with us!