October 14, 2010

How Yoga Changed a Skeptic.

I know, I’m surprised too.

Let me begin by thanking my friends at the Yoga Workshop and my teachers Barry, Asha and Angel for starting me on this journey and being so nice to me and my tight hamstrings, this story is for you.  I started out being a bit skeptical about how yoga could really enhance my life by going once a week and doing a little bit on my own.

I was wrong, in a big way, and I will share my story in hopes of anyone who has thoughts about doing yoga, but has not taken the plunge yet, for whatever reason.

I have been an athlete my entire life, so I figured taking  yoga would be a  challenge but something that I could do with a solid effort.  If I could handle running outdoors for a half hour straight why not yoga I thought.

My first class was about to start and there I was, feeling nervous as I looked around the room at the seasoned pros sitting with what looked like excruciatingly straight backs, trying to psyche myself up to at the very least not look like a total newb. We began and as soon as it started I found my hands pressed into the mat in downward dog, my tail high in the air, thinking, “this is going to be a long hour.” The hour passed with salutes to the sun and a few position corrections before I rushed off to my job. As I left, I felt different. I had energy. Of course I was tired, but I was content and peeking though my muscles saying “let’s hit the couch” was a powerful energy that seemed to have been dormant for so long.

Since then I have been going  to a class about once a week, taking level 1 and short form classes, and I can tangibly notice a difference in myself that I am excited about.  Here are some things that I really have noticed over the last month and a half.

  1. I am a more level person: I find myself handling the ups and downs of life with more composure, allowing for much better decisions that do not spur from simple emotion.  They come from an intertwining of emotion and rationality, and a balancing of short and long term goals and consequences.
  2. Sex is better: I won’t go into too much detail but let’s just say, being able to take a step back and focus on my breath helps both of us have a better time.
  3. More energy: And it’s not a bounce around the room, move move move energy, but a calm and powerful energy that allows me to feel better for longer without having to rely on energy drinks or caffeine to keep me going once I am up and awake.
  4. A more positive outlook: I am finding the glass half full as a default response more often, where before it would start negative then I would  have  to remind myself to be positive.  I am not saying it happens every time but not only is  it happening more but now I have the tools to bring a positive (while realistic) spin to it.
  5. More flexible: This is pretty obvious but it has become apparent that I have a greater range of motion and more freedom in my movement making life in general more.
  6. A new tool for stress relief and going to sleep: All I have to do is find my breath, and I find myself back to center or just drifting into a deep sleep.

Life is full of ups and downs.  With the start of my practice, I have been given the tools to deal with the peaks and  valleys of life with an energy, vigor and positivity that will allow me to get through the worst times.  I will be  forever grateful to those who have helped in starting this journey, and those who support me throughout.  I hope someday that I can pay them back  in some way, but for now I will just be grateful for all that I have and all that I can give.

I look forward to continuing my practice for the rest of my life.

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Jeff Meyer  |  Contribution: 1,500