Yogic Culture

 

Have you ever discovered something so profound, so enlightening, so beautiful or delicious that you wanted to share it with people you love? For some it may be a recipe, scripture, or a place. For me it was & continues to be yoga.

The profound intensity manifested itself when I began to see a change not just in my body but in the way I thought about things, they were unexpectedly subtle. Yoga was impacting who I was growing into and altering my life’s trajectories (bleh, cheesy I know!), I’d like to believe it’s all predetermined & there were many opportunities always in front of me waiting to take ahold.

 

 

 

I was enlightened, woke, or just more understanding of my situations & that of others. I grew into a more compassionate person with myself & for the people around me – I learned simple truths like loving & caring for yourself must come first if you’re going to love & care for others. I know some will read this and think “Isn’t that obvious?!” Sure you can hear or read these words on a Pinterest inspirational board and for some that may do the job, but for me, a moving mediation followed by these simple truths flowed into a mind that was ready to absorb, practice & share these words with others.

That’s where the beauty of yoga revealed itself, I was practicing not just for myself but for people in my life and the strangers I would come across. I walked with my head down to avoid eye contact or I would walk around with RBF (nothing wrong with it, still happens on the occasional finals week). I then began walking around with a smile, I’d wish strangers a good day & I’d tell service workers that I appreciated them. This was my way of trying to make this world a better place, spreading kindness. I wanted to help others feel good, by sharing little intricacies of the human condition & moments that connected us.

A friend who started taking yoga around the same time as me once described it as delicious. The use of that particular word sounded so wild to me, I wasn’t an immediate fan until class the next day; while rinsing & twisting our teacher told us to take “one of those delicious morning stretches” maybe that word had always been a popular description & I was experiencing Baader-Meinhof Complex but that word creeped into my vocabulary when describing why I appreciated this moving meditation so much.

When I started taking yoga, I didn’t know what I wanted out of it. I was walking out of a Poquito Mas, Mexican fast food restaurant – “Try a Free Week” admittedly the word ‘free’ must have been the reason this caught my attention. Working in marketing I have seen the impact of this word & how well it works. I had tried to get into yoga several times before but the price point for trying something new was always a little high for me & I didn’t experience anything that was really calling me back to this practice.

 

 

 

I don’t what it was about CorePower Yoga, but I was an immediate fan of  vinyasa yoga. The variety of classes for beginners & advanced students & schedule of classes from 6am-10pm allowed me to always fit a class into my day. The teachers were so kind, so excitable, and loved what they did for a part-time or full-time living. This was reflected in their powerful & beautiful yoga sequences & how they described the benefits of each pose. I struggled a lot in my first year and I would take classes walking out thinking that was such a hard sequence or the particular poses we focused on really did not make the class enjoyable. As time went on I learned that the reason I was not particularly drawn to them was the challenge they presented to my body. Where some may be loose and flexible others just are not & time is needed to work out those areas before you’re able to do a pose. I embraced the challenge, I stayed present, I let my body take the time it needed to get to those final poses that really challenged me, patience was important & it was not something I practiced well in my life till I found yoga. What I’ve heard over and over again from other yogi’s that is so relatable to myself is that one day you can be in class & your instructor will call out the pose that has been plaguing you & then you effortlessly get into it. It is so exciting to see your body is finally flexible and strong enough in that area to hold a pose you once were saying “Nope, not happening” to.

I never expected yoga to strength my body the way it did, building muscle was not an intention. One day I walked into class, setting up in front of a mirror and muscle’s in my arms & abdomen caught my eye. I never experienced such a euphoric feeling of pride and I humbly looked at my body and it’s journey on helping me perform better in yoga but I was also experiencing conscious self-love for the first time.  The challenge I have found in sharing my love affair with yoga is the skeptics and people who think I’m just talking hippie dippie cheesy nonsense & at that point it’s hard for me to explain that yoga is just allowing you to take those simple truths and experience them without judgement.

 

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