If you had asked me what I thought of yoga a couple months ago, I would have laughed, a lot. Back then the word yoga was synonymous with contorting one’s body into unnatural shapes. Shapes that the inflexible limbs of an average human, especially mine, could not bear. To me yogis were deeply spiritual, vegan tree-huggers of the world. In other words, I chose to deny the fact that yogis existed in the hustle-bustle, fast-paced, digital metropolis that is Los Angeles.
During December of 2016, my family visited a timeshare down in Palm Desert, California. This particular timeshare offered yoga classes in their fitness center, and I was inclined to at least “give it a shot”.
“Trying out yoga, one of my better life decisions”
Walking into the class I noticed the variety of participants, ranging from your “I work 9-5, and I booked it on the freeway to get to this class, so this better be good” mom of 4 children, the elderly people (who are probably more hip than you), and young millennials (who sometimes know more about the latest trends and memes that invade the internet, than current government affairs). Hey, I’m a millenial myself.
As the class filled up, the diversity of yoga participants became more apparent: “chill” individuals to seemingly very stressed ones, males and females, black and white, young and old, fit and less fit. Here came discovery #1 for me, YOGA IS FOR EVERYONE.
My second discovery came as the class started. The instructor played lulling tunes out of her iPhone and in a calm, melodic voice called out the yoga poses. I realized that this yoga class brought me to an inner state free from my stressful life. As I completed the poses, my focus diverted from personal responsibilities to consciously breathing and clearing my mind. I felt so at peace during the class, which is something hard to find in our fast-paced society.
Even after the class had ended, I felt that “yoga buzz”. That buzz became my drug, something that I enjoyed feeling. It became clear as to why so many people, from different stages of life, enjoy yoga. No matter what someone is going through yoga can be a place/practice of solace and peace. It allows one to decompress after a long day, and yet still reap the benefits of a higher energy level and burning more calories!
While nowadays, I do not consider myself a complete master of yoga, I consider myself an honorary yogi. I might be biased, but I believe that yogis have the secret to happiness, a secret that lies ingrained in every human, yogi or not. All one has to do is pick up yoga to experience inner peace. NAMASTE