Becoming an (Almost) Yogi
Yoga has become one of my favourite forms of exercise because it allows me to simultaneously “workout” more than one aspect of my being; body, mind, and soul. However, this wasn’t always the case.
I began my yoga journey back in university where I attended a free class at the school gym. Although it was nice, I left that class with my body craving more. Not too long after that I decided to give yoga another try with a friend who brought me to a Bikram Yoga Studio. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Bikram, it consists of a series of 26 poses in a heated room for 75 mins. My memory of this class is filled by drill sergeant commands leaving me with just enough energy to crawl into bed afterwards for my day long recovery.
It wasn’t until I attended CCNM (2 years post yoga trauma) that I wanted to give yoga a try for a third time - and I went all in. A few other students and I purchased a month long unlimited pass at our local Moksha Yoga Studio. Admittedly, I was a little nervous due to my past yoga experiences or my perceived lack of experience. It turns out the third time was the charm and Moksha Yoga was the right fit for me. Moksha Yoga is also normally completed in a heated room but has a little more variability in classes and series. I personally love heated rooms because it allows my muscles to get a much deeper stretch. I started off going 4 times a week in that first month which provided me with more insight into the true meaning of being a yogi. After a while I noticed my muscles were becoming more defined and my performance had improved in other physical activities. The mediation aspect of yoga allowed me to quiet my mind long enough to deal with emotions I wasn’t even aware I had. For the benefits I listed above and many more I have become addicted to yoga. Even though I have been doing yoga consistently for a few years now, there is still so much to learn and so much more growing to do!
Take Home Messages
Find a style that fits you – If I hadn’t kept trying different styles of yoga, I probably would be missing out on the many benefits of it today. There are many different types of yoga: hot, warm, yin, yang, flow, beginner, etc. Find the one that fits you and what you need.
Commit - It wasn’t until I consistently went to yoga that I began to understand what it could do for me and became addicted. Yoga is called a practice for a reason; it takes time to get there. Try not to become frustrated with yourself along the way because the journey is more important than the destination. You will get where you are meant to be.
Be comfortable with being uncomfortable – Yoga has such an amazing and warm culture. Beginners are always welcome. You have to be comfortable with not knowing for a few classes but will be supported by not only the instructor but your classmates. For those who already do yoga, think about how this phrase can apply to your yoga practice. Maybe it’s a certain pose, or its trying out a new yoga studio. Facing this uncomfortable feeling is usually a good sign that you are approaching growth.
A Side note: Yoga studios can be a little hard on the wallet. If you are new to yoga many studios have a reduced rate for new clients and pay what you can classes or GroupOn has many deals where you can search by location. There is also a pass called Passport to Prana that costs $30 and allows you to try out one class at each of the various yoga studios in Toronto for a year (with 500 studios to choose from).