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January 23, 2010

I was just alerted by the always inspirational Amy that today happens to be National Yoga Day. As someone whose arms still ache from the incredible yoga session I had on Thursday, I felt compelled to post about the topic.

A girl at work once asked me if I did yoga and if I liked it. Without skipping a bit, I replied: Yes, and the practice changed my life.

I think she was a little taken aback by my prompt and effusive response, and to be honest, so was I. But as I thought about it more, I realized it was true.

I started practicing yoga a few years ago, but I got more into it once I got to college. I was able to take free classes for a PE credit, and it was such a welcome change of pace from my rigorous engineering classes. My teacher was demanding and pushed us beginners, but the feeling of lightness and relief that I always felt was worth every seconds spent pushing myself to perfect my downward dog.

However, after I fell down my basement stairs and did quite a number on my brain, hearing, and mental state, I started to use exercise as an outlet and a tool for self-harm. However, yoga can’t be used like this. You can’t balance on one foot for long periods of time if you haven’t eaten a substantial meal in hours and you can’t stand in tree pose if your mind isn’t clear. Practicing yoga forced me to take some deep breaths, relieve my self from stress, and focus on the here and now and the good that I could do for my body.

Now that I’m not taking free classes I don’t get to practice with an instructor as often as I would like, but I do make a point to either do poses on my own or pay the $6 and go to one at the University Center. As crazy as my days seem and as fuzzy as my brain feels, deep breathing and lots of Vinyasa flows always improve my day.

yogi survey
practicing since: 2006
days a week? 1 or 2, but I wish it were more often
most unique class: free yoga in the park in the summer
favorite kind of yoga: Vinyasa flow
favorite pose: eagle pose
least favorite pose: crow pose, mostly because I am awful at it
musical selections: radiohead, zero 7
why did i start? I had been taking pilates for a while and wanted to see where some of those poses were derived from
mat color: sky blue with lotus flowers on it
what i wear: leggings or yoga pants from American Apparel and a soft tee

Do you practice yoga? What has it done for you?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2010 10:46 am

    Thanks for your yoga history!

    I’m getting ready to do a short practice now. I’ve been practicing on and off for about five years… I wish I had more time to go to an actual studio, but I’ll take what I can get!

  2. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce permalink
    January 23, 2010 11:56 am

    cool to learn more about your yoga background! i DID practice bikram yoga, every day, twice a day, for about 6 months. i realized that i was not living a balanced lifestyle at all, and that i was sort of abusing yoga for workout purposes. so i took a break, but unfortunately have only gone back sporadically. i want to get back into yoga, but with a healthier mindset and set of goals this time around! i love radiohead and zero 7 too!

  3. January 23, 2010 12:26 pm

    I’ve tried yoga many times (a few classes a year since I was in middle school with my mom), and as much as I wish I loved it, I just can’t get into it! I have so much respect for people who do it, though…one of my biggest problems with it is that I can’t seem to relax enough!

  4. January 23, 2010 6:46 pm

    I don’t practice yoga, never have but.. definitely will! It’s just that I’m not motivated to try it while in my current living situation.. I’m waiting to take my first class after I move. :)

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