If you practice yoga on a regular basis you probably know the answer but if you have never practiced before you may not be clear on the point.
I started practicing yoga after a neck injury lifting weights (probably too heavy and bad form), at that point I decided I needed to try something different. In 1998 yoga hadn’t become mainstream, there were a few small studios in the area. When I say in the area, about a 30-40 minute drive from my house.
I will never forget how scary it was to walk into that first yoga class and lets be honest the 5th, 6th and maybe 10th yoga class. This was before the day of cool yoga leggings so at least I didn’t have that stress of feeling like I didn’t fit in with my workout options. The first class I took the room held about 8 people and the guy teaching had a very “yoga” name. After using my small package I ventured on to another place another 20 minutes further from my house, it was at this point I really fell in love with yoga. My yoga practice kept evolving over several years and studios until I finally settled in to my home studio and decided to take it to the next level, teacher training. From there the journey sped up all the way to now, owning a yoga studio with an amazing team at my side.
What was it that kept me going back? Why Yoga?
Yoga is not a practice that you can put into words it’s more about the feeling. The feeling of finding a space where you can be yourself, breathe to relax the body while at the same time building strength, flexibility and balance. You can mention all these things to that one person you know would benefit but never takes you up on the invite. It has to be a willingness on their part to venture into the studio, to try it out. The first experience may not even be great, for that matter it might take many classes, teachers or studios to find a space that feels just right. What connects with you may not connect with that friend who finally decides to check it out. That can always be a disappointment when the thing you love doesn’t work for the person you love. The one thing I’m pretty sure of is that if you find “your studio, vibe, tribe” yoga can have so many benefits beyond the things I’ve mentioned.
If you have that friend that you would love to take class with that hesitates, be patient with them. Show them through daily actions of patience, less stress and changing body how amazing the practice is. Sometimes a simple invite and then sit back and let them make the next move is an easier way to get them motivated. I know I can be stubborn and when pushed into something I’m not sure of, I can push back just as hard.
“There is always room for change, but you have to be open to that change.” –Kathryn Budig
Why do you practice yoga, let me know in comments below