Last summer I was determined to get more out of my gym membership. So, I tried yoga.
I noticed a flyer in the locker room advertising a beginner’s yoga class, so it was the perfect time to bite the bullet and graduate from living room yoga poses guided by my Wii Fit.
I had been hesitant to try yoga for years, because I was worried about the strain it would put on my wrists and ankles. I have rheumatoid arthritis and experience pain and swelling in my joints almost daily. But, thanks to regular exercise (including yoga), losing excess weight and eating a healthy whole foods diet, my symptoms have decreased.
I thought yoga would be a good way to keep extra weight off and vary my workouts which were predominately in the swimming pool. So, I initially attended yoga classes for the exercise.
Now, I continue yoga for many more reasons. Sure, the exercise part of yoga helps me stay fit. I’m actually losing inches around my waist while maintaining my weight, so I think that means I’m burning fat and gaining muscle.
But, I also love yoga because it’s taught me how to truly relax and let things go.
After an hour class, I feel calm and less stressed for the rest of the day. Yoga has taught me to clear my mind and realize that a lot of the things I stress about aren’t worth the energy it takes to get worked up. I’m also more focused on the present moment and notice details of daily life in a more vivid, clear way. (Maybe because my brain is less cluttered?)
I continue to do yoga regularly because it’s time set aside just for me. Think about that. How often do you let your entire body (including your brain!) relax so you can focus on the rhythm of your breath and movement?
Until next time,