5 Things I Learned During a 6-month Hiatus from Yoga
Nowadays most of us are stuck behind a computer screen for multiple hours per day, and no matter how we try to explain this sedentary lifestyle away, the truth is that it’s bound to catch up with us one way or another. Yes, it may be easier to browse our favorite sites while munching on some readily-available, fuss-free snacks, but what does that get us in the long run?
I experienced the switch to sitting at a desk without any form of exercise after coming back from living in Saigon, Vietnam, working on my sustainable textile and handbag business, and incorporating yoga into my weekly ritual. During this 6-month hiatus away from yoga in Melbourne, Australia, I realized a few things I could get back if I made the time to fit yoga back into my life.
Yoga can connect you with more people.
If you’re like me, the thought of running absentmindedly on a treadmill or fighting it out with complex machines at your local gym doesn’t really sound all that appealing, so what’s a girl to do? Well, there’s always yoga class! Apart from yoga being one of the best and most well-balanced workouts out there, yoga class can improve your social life!
Yes, you read that right. As opposed to jogging on the treadmill while listening to your favorite ‘hitting the gym’ mix, which doesn’t really encourage other people to come talk to you, your local yoga class can actually be the perfect place for meeting new people, getting to know your neighbors and maybe even make a few friends in the process -we all know how difficult making new friends as an adult can be- and I experienced just that after moving!
The yoga studio I go to in Melbourne has a big wooden community table in the waiting room, which acts as a place for yogis to hang out afterwards drinking freshly brewed peppermint tea and chatting about our day.
Yoga allows you to make health a priority.
More importantly, however, one of the reasons I absolutely love yoga is because it gives me the opportunity to consciously make my health a priority, and it is so enjoyable and energizing that I find that all of my old excuses for slobbing around all afternoon just don’t work for me anymore. This beautiful feeling of being able to breathe better after yoga class, the improvement in my posture and most of all the fact that I am taking time out of my busy schedule to actually take care of me, are only some of the reasons that keep me coming back for more.
Yoga makes your more productive.
You might argue that there are so many other types of exercise that are supposedly more ‘bang for your buck’, and that yoga takes too much time out of your day, however I don’t think that resistance training or any other similar workouts offer any of the special benefits of yoga. When you do yoga, you are not only exercising your body; you are also clearing your mind and regaining your inner balance. I can honestly say that yoga has gotten me so focused and so much more productive that I actually find myself with lots more free time at the end of the day. This great routine is the gift that keeps on giving, and yoga class has definitely earned its place on my weekly schedule. It has created more structure to the end of the day, and forces me to make the best use of my time.
Yoga creates a sense of strength and confidence.
When I take care of my health and make time for myself, I end up looking and feeling better, too. I become more toned, I can feel my balance, strength and flexibility improve day by day, and I find myself more centered. Overall, yoga is really helping me feel comfortable in my own body and it has greatly boosted my confidence.
The bonus is that you are connecting with like-minded people who are also working at getting to a good place, so this positive mindset ends up rubbing off on you.
Yoga gives you the opportunity to explore your neighbourhood.
After moving from Saigon to Melbourne for the first time, there was a lot to explore and find out on my own around the city. Being without a car, I quickly bought a bike that could allow me a bit of freedom to get around without using public transport.
And once I added yoga into my routine, I started riding my bike to class every yoga evening down new paths and back streets. I became exposed to people playing tennis in a local garden, people having picnics, beautiful streets lined with trees, amazing sunsets, and neighbourhoods I hadn’t known about.
Exploring and rediscovering your neighborhood while biking to class is definitely one of the best ways to jumpstart your free time after work.
So have you ever taken a break from yoga, and then made your way back into a dedicated routine? What changed in your life as a result? I’d love to know! Leave a comment below or write me at wildtussah [at] gmail.com!