This is basically part two of my last yoga post: a continuation where we delve into the less obvious, or at least non-physical. I talk to a lot of people about yoga and what I have learned is that most people are drawn to it for the physical benefits (like discussed here) but are often surprised how it roles over into other aspects of their life. When new people come to my classes I love to ask them what brought them there? What inspired them to give it a try? I get a varied amount of answers but most discuss a physical aspect. Every once in a while I get someone who’s doctor recommended they come to relieve stress (which I love) but it is definitely the exception not the rule, in my experience.
My reason for getting deeper into my yoga practice was motivated by the physical as well. I had an injury from running and was looking for a physical activity I could do without making it worse. I had dabbled with yoga before but it was mainly just going to a class here or there. Nothing consistent. As my interest was peaked I ended up moving to a town where there were very few classes offered that would work with my schedule.
After my injury, I established a pretty regular home practice and I was loving it. The other benefits I was getting out of it were becoming more prominent to me. I started to grow calmer, less reactionary to others. I was also happier. I felt like I was dealing with depression for a while but the more I focused on my yoga practice the more this feeling lifted. I was practicing gratitude with a lot more ease. I was kinder to others and more empathetic. My stress and anxiety (which had been with me pretty consistently for a while) weren’t showing up as regularly. I started looking at everything a little differently (rose colored glasses to cliché?). Instead of feeling envy towards others I was having intense feelings of happiness for them. I realized how lucky I really am. Gratitude became a natural part of my everyday life instead of having to try and work it in.
I can’t guarantee you will feel the same but I do think if you give it a try and let yourself be present in your classes you will start to be present more often in the rest of your life. And from there, endless possibilities! This does not mean I don’t still have struggles or that I feel this way all the time. It doesn’t mean that “bad” things don’t happen to me but it has changed the way I view and react to them. I cannot be exactly sure what it is about yoga that brought these changes but I have a hunch, a lot of it just comes from taking the time to breath and be present.
Obviously, I can’t promise you will have the same results but I hope this post and the last one have convinced you you’ve got nothing to lose so just get on the mat and give it a shot.
Love and gratitude,