I was first exposed to yoga through a personal fitness class in high school.
Back then, we were a room full of teenagers awkwardly bending and stretching on the floor of a stale classroom.
Yoga had been a mystery to me before that. It was something only “weird, spiritual people” did—you know, the kind who probably also meditated and ate kale.
I didn’t realize that yoga wasn’t just for one kind of person, but it was a practice that everyone could benefit from. That day in my gym class introduced me to a whole world that I never knew existed and never knew that I, too, could be a part of.
In fact, the moment I discovered yoga was the moment I fell in love with it.
Not long after that first class, a hot yoga studio opened up in my neighbourhood. Right away, I bought a monthly membership and even started working at the reception desk the summer after. I remember there was only one room in the studio—it was small with dark brown wood floors—and usually there were only four or five people in a class.
Now, my yoga classes in downtown Toronto are packed to the brim. Often, we are so tightly squeezed in that the mirror steams not from the room temperature but from body heat, and I struggle to avoid eye contact with strangers as I rise into Tadasana, or Mountain pose.
But boy, do I love these classes, no matter how busy or not they may be. Every time I enter the room, I am entering another world—one where I feel safe and at peace.
I roll my mat onto the floor like a bedsheet, two blocks on either side, a hand towel at the head. Then, I lie down and wait for the teacher to enter and greet us in her always soothing voice, and I melt, slowly, into my practice.
Over the last few years, I’ve had some serious life changes. From moving abroad and getting my heart broken, to traveling Europe solo, to moving back home and finding a big-girl job, only to quit about a year and a half later—with no plan.
Through all of life’s ups and downs, there has been one constant: yoga.
But the thing is, no matter how constant my yoga practice may be, not once has it ever been boring. Every class I go to, even if it’s with the same teacher at the same time each week, the experience is always different.
I have often sat and wondered: how this is possible? How can a practice, one that only has limited poses to choose from within a limited time frame, never twice be the same?
Better yet: how is it that something so good for the mind and body can also be so deliciously addictive?
So, this, for me, is why yoga is never boring:
Yoga is never boring because our minds and bodies are ever-changing and so is our practice.
Yoga is never boring because each time we turn up to our mat, we are in a different state—body and mind.
We move through the world as adaptive beings, constantly changing depending on internal and external factors. Our bodies react to whether we slept well that day, what we ate for breakfast, if it’s raining outside, or if we spent too much time sitting at a computer.
When we begin our practice, we bring all of this with us. Some days, it takes a while to feel fully present in the class. Other days, we are engaged right from the start. But whether it happens slowly or quickly, we always become engrossed in the practice, and sometimes we don’t even realize at what point it’s happened.
Yoga is never boring because we bring all of our stresses with us—the nagging to-do list, the conversation we aren’t looking forward to having, the assignment that was due yesterday—and then shed all of it as the sweat drips off our bodies and onto our mat.
Yoga is never boring because our practice moves, bends, and breathes along with us. We do not force it to be something other than what it is in that moment.
Yoga is never boring because every class challenges us in new ways. Our practice is building blocks: one on top of the another, growing tall, or sometimes horizontally to expand outward.
Yoga is never boring because our progression and growth is real, visible, felt. Maybe we stretch a little farther today, or maybe we can hold a pose with a little more solidity and strength.
Or maybe today we give our bodies rest, and we treat ourselves with compassion for needing to hold back.
Yoga is never boring because it gives us the space for self-care and healing. It is an hour or two away from our lives with no distraction.
After each class, as we lay in Savasana, we are left feeling a little more connected to ourselves and with the world around us.
It’s safe to say that I am now a kale-eating, occasionally-meditating yogi. But it’s not because I’ve become a part of some weird hippy cult—it’s because, through yoga, I have become more aware of how I want to treat my body, and of how I want to treat other living beings and our environment.
Yoga teaches us to become more compassionate and kind. And, to me, there is nothing boring about that.