I am very new to yoga and still have so much to learn. Yoga is still very challenging for me, but Erin’s suggestion to submit 5 reasons why I love yoga got me thinking. Why do I attend classes every week and why have become so committed to my yoga practice? This request inspired me to take a breath and really consider this question. Here are my 5 reasons why I love yoga.
- Yoga challenges me mentally and physically. I started doing yoga because I am a ‘recovering’ runner. After battling one injury after another and possibly having done so much damage that I may never run again, my doctor suggested yoga. She thought my body would benefit from the stretches and postures and that I would be able to begin to heal. Admittedly, I was skeptical. I was someone who actually loved the pain that comes with running and I liked pushing myself. How could yoga give me that? Well it has given me more. It has taught me that I can be challenged and push myself without hurting myself. That I can sweat without causing damage.
- Yoga has given me strength and increased my awareness of my body. I have always considered myself strong. However, over the course of the past few months, I am noticing changes. My muscles feel lengthened; my arms and shoulders feel tighter; my back pain is disappearing. I just feel strong and healthy! I am aware of my shoulders and my posture. Yoga has taught me to listen to the messages my body is sending me and my body is responding.
- Yoga has given me patience. I have never been a patient person. I want results and I want them now. I want projects over quickly so I can move onto the next thing. Yoga is teaching me to slow down, to be in the moment. Now this is still challenging for me, but I know that this trait has not always served me well. I am learning.
- Yoga has accepted me where I am. Yoga has given me permission to be new and to enjoy the journey. I am remembering to be in the moment. I am remembering that being uncomfortable is ok and is sometimes a good thing. I am so new to this but I am excited to continue learning and growing and accepting.
- Yoga has given me an appreciation for all I have. I am fortunate to have a healthy body and I am fortunate that I can practice something new. My body, at times, has been my enemy. I could go on and on about all of the things I didn’t like about my body and could count on one hand the things I actually appreciated. That is changing. My body has done some really complicated, intense, amazing things over the past couple of months. My body has allowed me to turn upside down and balance on my forearms and my head! My body has allowed me to hold downward dog until my thighs are shaking but it hasn’t collapsed. I have done some horrible things to my body and I feel like yoga is the metaphorical olive branch – the apology.