Happy&Healthy: yoga


I vividly remember the day I decided to go to a yoga class for the first time. It was a part of a promotional offer that allowed me to go to 15 classes for a very low price. I was excited; I felt like by going to a few yoga classes I could unlock my inner peace or something weird like that. But when I stepped into the studio and began my first class, I hated it. I was restless, annoyed and anything but happy to be a part of sitting on a mat in a hot studio trying to contort my body into poses that seemed to be something for an Olympic gymnast, not me.

Needless to say, I never went back to use the other 14 classes. Honestly, I was okay with the fact that yoga just wasn’t for me, and that I’d rather go run a few miles or lift weights to exercise. I think that was OK for where I was in life at that time; I was a shy eighth grader who had one goal in mind: to be the best at volleyball. So in a way, yoga was a waste of time for me back then. I had practice multiple times a week and tournaments almost every weekend. I was an athlete, and I was really OK with accepting that yoga wasn’t my thing.

Now as I’m writing this, I’m in my junior year and my volleyball days are far behind me. I no longer care to spend my weekends at tournaments and spend hours at practice on a school night. I’m also not as restless as I used to be, and I guess that’s partly because I’m always tired.

But now in the stage of life I’m in, yoga has become a retreat for my mind and for myself. I’ve learned how to relax and realize that it’s OK if I can’t contort myself into all the poses that the instructor may be able to. Yoga is about relaxing and connecting with yourself. I’ve learned to be OK with being the least flexible in my class.

When it boils down, yoga is about discovering yourself and connecting with yourself in a deeper way. It isn’t about the poses you can or can’t do, and it’s definitely not about comparing yourself to others in your class. You may be the least flexible, but you are not the least capable. That’s the point of yoga. Finding yourself and connecting your mind and body are important because it’s vital to learn that you may not always be the most skilled, but it doesn’t mean you’re incapable.

When you connect your mind and body, you can become more valuable to yourself, and it can help you discover things about yourself that you’ve never known. Yoga may seem scary, but give it a try. You never know what you’ll discover.