The first time I tried yoga I was 17, worked at a gym, and thought yoga was a place for flatulent old people. My sister and I decided to give it a go anyway and ended up confirming my suspicion: we spent 45 minutes stifling hysterical laughter caused by the audible farts of seniors. A fantastic ab workout, but not something I ever wanted to do again!
As the years went on my view of yoga remained the same, I tried a couple more classes at the Y but it just wasn’t my thing. And then surprisingly, my husband (boyfriend at the time) thought it would be fun for us to do yoga together.
Mike’s parents had taken him to a hot yoga class (probably in hopes of finding him a nice yogi wife) and he loved it. After some convincing, he persuaded me to try a class with him. It was so different than my first yoga experience, it was a real workout and a nice relaxation for my mind.
From there I ventured to our local yoga studio. It took a little bit of bravery but eventually I tried all of the classes they offered and learned that classes can range from virtually catatonic to the hardest workout of your life. No matter which class I took – Hatha, Flow, Freestyle Friday – the lessons of the class remained the same:
- Be present
Don’t think about what happened before you got here or what is to come, focus on the now and be in the moment.
- Every day is different
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Some days you are capable of more challenging feats than others. It’s nothing to be annoyed about, it’s life.
- Honour your body
We are all unique including the limitations of our bodies. Put your ego aside and follow what is right for you, not what you wish you could do.
- Plant the seed
When you face a challenge that seems impossible, instead of telling yourself you can’t do it, plant the seed that perhaps you will be able to in the future.
- Thank yourself for showing up
It may seem small but making a commitment to yourself and following through should be celebrated. You did it!
After coming back from my accidental fitness hiatus, it is more clear to me than ever that these messages are the reason I love yoga the most. In a yoga class, more than any other fitness class I have taken, you are in control and most importantly, you are enough.
If you are interested in trying your hand at yoga, my go to studios in Edmonton are Bliss YogaSpa and Navina Yoga which just opened this fall. Both studios have an amazing atmosphere and fantastic instructors. Enjoy!