Yoga has always been an elusive practice to me. Sure, I see it around and am exposed to enough of it get it (or so that’s what I thought), how wrong I was. I was always skeptical when I heard friends rave about how much yoga has impacted their lives. In the spirit of giving things a shot this year (e.g. writing, meditation, etc) I thought now is a good time as any to try Yoga.
As I have been doing a lot of running, I found a Yoga for Runners session on YouTube and followed along. At first, I was a little perturbed by the duration: 40 minutes. But then I thought, “I want to give this a fair shot” so I just went with it.
I made a concerted effort to connect to the practice in the moment and do as instructed. When the instructor told me close my eyes, I closed them; they tell me to align my breathing with the movements, I did so studiously; if they encouraged me to think of what I am grateful for, I did so with as much sincerity and whole-heartedness as I could muster. Long story short, as much as I followed along with the poses, I tried to follow along from a mindset perspective.
The movements seemed to flow so seamlessly from one to another, and before I knew it, I was in Shavasana and feeling so zen. I felt like I could lie there all day. My body felt so limbre and my mind the same. I felt like I was having a Yoga-high (if even that is what people call it), I felt so happy, relaxed, and present. Physically, the sensation compares to the feeling of finishing a full-body massage. Mentally, it is reminiscent of finishing a breath-work session or the runner’s high –– feelings of gratitude, relaxation, and presence. Crucially, I don’t think I would have had the same experience if I didn’t participate in the mental side of Yoga and just mechanically followed the physical movements.
It’s safe to say that this will be something I’ll take forward with me and integrate into my days. It is meditative, relaxing, and functionally serves as a great recovery session.