Yoga: If you haven’t tried it yet, come on, where have you been for the last 5 years? I mean, these days even unborn babies are doing it (prenatal yoga) and you don’t have to be old, young, wise, strong or flexible. You just have to show up. One of my first yoga teachers, Sharath (grandson of Ashtanga guru Sri K. Patthabhi Jois), says that anyone can do yoga, “only lazy people cannot do yoga”. I tend to agree, for the most part. However, Sharath was talking about Ashtanga yoga, which is considered one of the most athletic yoga practices. For those lazy days, there’s also Restorative yoga, which is basically like a guided naptime, but then becomes so much more. What I’m trying to say is that there is a type of yoga for everyone, so stop with the excuses.
Now you may be thinking, “so what, even if I can do yoga why should I do it?” Here’s a bullet point list to appease your short blog-reading attention span:
-physical wellness (you’re on a blog for nutrition, so you must be at least considering the importance of your body’s wellbeing)
-mental benefits (focus, creativity, endurance, endorphins(!))
-spiritual growth (connecting the mind-body-spirit)
What separates yoga from any other type of physical exercise is that it encourages keen awareness, not just of the body, but also of your thoughts. Bridging the gap between our thoughts, our emotions and our physical sensations creates a complete experience that will leave you feeling energized, clear-minded, peaceful and hopefully inspired.
There are many places and ways to fit in a yoga practice. Try out a yoga studio. There are so many yoga studios offering so many different types of yoga—and don’t be discouraged if the first one you try isn’t to your liking. There’s something for everyone. Read the class description and make an educated choice: If you hate the heat, make sure to check that the class is unheated. If you love music and dance, there’s hip-hop yoga. If you want to make new friends, try acro yoga where you partner up. And if you are feeling especially nervous about starting something completely new, go to a beginner’s class.
Sometimes it’s hard to make it out of the house to exercise, and it can also be expensive. There are plenty of affordable and in-home options. Search yoga videos on youtube or check out what Netflix has on their watch instantly list. A great website for those who are interested in an online, video yoga experience is the Gaiam Yoga Studio (gaiamyogastudio.com) where expert teachers Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee will lead you step by step through each pose and sequence. That said, there is nothing better and more powerful than a face-to-face student-teacher relationship. Checking in with a yoga teacher is a good idea every now and then if you do the majority of your yoga practice solo.
I hope I’ve given you a few good reasons and a few good ideas on how to start a yoga practice. If you have any questions comment here.
Thanks for reading!!
A little bit about Eva:
Eva went to her first Ashtanga yoga class in Santiago, Chile and was immediately hooked. Soon enough she found herself in Mysore, India, the birthplace of Ashtanga Yoga. Eva spent 6 months studying yoga there, returned to the states, eventually got teaching certificates in both Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga and started teaching. In March ’12 Eva graduated from a year-long course in Urban Zen Integrative Therapy which brings modalities like yoga therapy, Reiki, essential oil therapy and contemplative care into western medical settings. These days Eva volunteers at Beth Israel Medical Center as an Urban Zen Integrative Therapist, where she sees day after day that you can do yoga anywhere with anyone, even in a hospital bed.