Monday, January 6, 2014

Yoga Monday

Welcome to the first in my new series, Yoga Monday. This post also appears on my other blog, Yoga Emergence, along with a number of other articles about yoga and teaching yoga.

A couple of days ago, I offered a free Introduction to Yoga class in order to provide an opportunity for all those folks whose new year's resolution list includes "Take up yoga!" As expected for the first week of January, there was a great turnout, so many people, in fact, that we ran out of props for the first time ever. I'm offering this class again on January 18 (more info here) so if you are in the area, please consider attending!

The folks who attended this special class had a wide range of experiences with yoga, including several who had never tried it, but also more than a few who had years of experience. Some were looking for a new teacher or, in a couple of cases, were just in town for the holidays and away from their regular class, so dropping in for a visit. It was an interesting mix of people and I enjoyed talking to the new folks about what brought them to the study of yoga.

It is often the case that the issue that brings us to yoga is not the one that keeps us there. In my own case, I was gradually introduced to the practice through the efforts of a couple of fitness instructors who were, themselves, taking yoga lessons and trying the moves out during the stretching sessions at the end of class. I liked those parts of their classes a lot and tried out an actual yoga class, a free "Intro to Yoga" session offered by the local hospital. I liked it a lot, too, but didn't think I had time to add another "work-out routine" to my already busy schedule.

Even though I was not yet 40, I had a lot of aches and pains, particularly in my low back, and  I finally consulted a chiropractor who advised doing what I recognized as a move that we had practiced in that intro class--a simple reclining twist. A light bulb went off. I realized that yoga was more than just another form of exercise. Here was a method that might actually make me feel better.

And, so, I sought out a teacher, which wasn't easy in those days and in that place (the late 1980s in Indianapolis) but I found her and commenced upon the more organized portion of my yoga journey. It was to be many years before my study and practice helped me to fully deal with my lower back pain, but I quickly learned that yoga made me feel better in many ways--not just physically, but emotionally and, even, spiritually. 

If you practice yoga, what brought you to the practice? If you've practiced for awhile, have your reasons changed? I would be interested in hearing your story!

Namaste.

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