I still remember the first time I tried yoga.
It was at night and I practiced on the carpet in the living room. My teacher(s): the Yoga Zone folks on Hulu. I still can’t confidently point to one reason I wanted to try yoga. The best I can come up with is that I wanted to lose the weight I needed to keep in the first place, and I hated exercise. But we all have our stories.
The weight stayed even though I certainly broke a sweat. What I lost was much more important—the disconnection to my own body. For the first time I could truly feel myself take a breath. I could feel the internal sensations of my legs. That first hour brought an explosion of energy formerly blocked. The sweetness of the last pose, savasana, where you just lie there with nothing required of you, infected me like a sweet, dopey drug. When I got off the floor, all I could feel was the desire for more and more and more.
But why should you try yoga?
You probably already see one of the amazing practitioners for a massage at Freed Bodyworks. Why would you want to go out and buy those tight fitting “yoga pants” and sit on the floor without the guarantee that you’ll be able to get back up and down and up again?
First, there is no “yoga clothing." Period. Wear what you want. If you want to come in jeans, pajamas, or a bathing suit—do it. I have had students wear all of those things and everything in between. If you manage to sit on the floor but then can’t get back up to your feet because the floor isn’t a place you generally put your butt on, don’t worry about it. We’ll make it work and no one will care or judge you.
Try yoga because you have a glorious body that breathes and supports you as you walk in this world. I could tell you all about the physical benefits of the practice: it helps with stress, high-blood pressure, heart-conditions, depression, anxiety, back pain, etc. You’ll get those benefits, but you’ll gain so much more: you’ll gain a relationship with yourself where you see all your crap and beauty reflected back at you.
Often you’ll hear me say that our practice on the mat is a reflection of how we treat ourselves. It’s also a reflection of all of our crap and magnificence. That anger, low self-esteem, lack of trust in yourself or others, horrible judgmental self-talk…all of it shows up on your mat when you practice yoga. But your desire for joy and your tenderness also show up. All the facets of yourself make an appearance and the practice gives you the tools to create shifts in your life you wouldn’t have thought possible.
Or try it because you’re curious at the thought of making yourself feel good. No matter your reason or story, just try it.
***Join Maddy for yoga!***