I started “practicing” yoga three years ago. Well, actually, it wasn’t really a practice then. The only reason I even decided to try was because Audrey Hepburn did yoga. I wanted to be like her. She was beautiful and thin. She was my hero.
My first experience with yoga was at a studio down the street from my apartment. It was close enough to walk to, and if you were new to the studio, your first class was free. When I got there, I didn’t get it. It was so quiet and the lights weren’t very bright. Everyone moved slowly and talked with a breathy air. I set my mat up in the front row and when class started, I wished I could disappear. The yoga teacher kept using me as an example. I just wanted to shout, “Hey lady! I’ve never done this before. Stop picking on me!” Needless to say, I never went back to that studio.
For about a year, I did yoga once or twice a week at home. I pulled up hour long classes on YouTube and got super confused as to why I didn’t really feel challenged. How could Audrey Hepburn stay so fit by doing yoga? Something wasn’t right here. What was I doing wrong? Eventually I bought a WiiU Fit with yoga classes that measured your center of balance and the pressure of weight in your feet and hands. Now I felt like I was getting somewhere! I even made a friend who was super into yoga. She was going through her 200-hour teacher training and did awesome poses everywhere we went. She was strong and always so happy. I was so motivated by her, that I started to integrate yoga into my life a little more. I didn’t want to be exactly like her, but I did want the happiness she seemed to have gained from practicing yoga so often.
The day I married my husband I knew I needed something that was just for me. We were moving to a new state, and he had his friends, his sports, and his Xbox. I didn’t really have anything that was just for me. Then I decided yoga could be my thing. I invested in a new mat, a block, tune-up balls, and found online classes that actually explained how poses should feel. I found a studio that I fell in love with. Yoga not only became a daily practice for me, it became a huge part of my life. I found peace in fast-moving vinyasa classes, inversions became places of meditation for me, I became more open and more mindful throughout the day. Yoga was making me a better wife, a better friend, and overall a better person.
Since the day I committed myself to yoga, I have found continual improvement in my physical body and in my emotional state. I joined yoga communities where I could express myself with confidence. I knew I wasn’t going to be seen as a “typical yogi,” but honestly, that didn’t matter to me. The Bad Yogi blog, DoYouYoga, and River Rock Yoga studio helped me feel more comfortable in my yoga practice and allowed me to see that yogis come in all shapes, sizes, personalities, and from all kinds of beliefs. I no longer feel like I need to impress anyone. Yoga isn’t about becoming Audrey Hepburn anymore. It’s my own personal journey and growth as a person. I’ve found a light within myself that I never even knew existed.
When I’m happy, I yoga. When I’m sad, I yoga. When I’m stressed or mad, I yoga. When I’m feeling zen, I yoga. There’s never a bad time to yoga.
So I choose yoga every day.