I am really awful at yoga. I’m not saying that with false modesty. It’s a definite fact. I actually think I am getting worse the more I go to class. I can barely do some of the poses, especially hovering in Chaturanga, I don’t see that one ever happening for me. I struggle to get through most sessions. Part of the issue is that I am in an intermediate class and I’m really a beginner. Unfortunately, the timing for the beginner class wasn’t an option, so off I go each week to a class I’m neither qualified for, nor one I will ever master.
But, I love it and have no plans to stop going. Why would I continue to go, when I am so bad at it? Here are ten reasons why I am committed to yoga.
- My yoga teacher is awesome. She has a gentle, calming demeanor and makes sure I’m doing the poses safely. It has taken me a few tries to connect with a yoga teacher, and now that I have, it has made a huge difference for me. I had a few false starts where the teacher, while perfectly fine, wasn’t the right fit for me which decreased my motivation to go.
- I spend my days hunched over a computer in the most ergonomically incorrect positions possible. Redoing my work space is on my project list, but for now I try to move around every hour, and have even created a make-shift standing desk so I can alternative sitting and standing. But at the end of the day, I’m pretty much a pretzel, twisted and compressed. My body is begging to be realigned. Nothing helps stretch me back out like yoga.
- My mind moves at the speed of light pinging through thoughts and constantly running through my never-ending to-do list. Staying in the moment is a huge challenge for me even though I recognize the importance. Yoga class is the closest I come to being in the moment. Much like the yoga poses, I’m not perfect and I catch my mind wandering, but usually I’m so intensely focused on the yoga poses and trying to keep up with the class that I’m too busy to get distracted. The yoga teacher’s constant directions and even, relaxing tone help me stay focused as well.
- There is no judgement in my yoga class. Even though I am a poor practitioner of yoga, no one has ever made me feel like I don’t belong there. It’s a welcoming, accepting environment. I don’t feel intimidated or out-of-place even when I have to do modified versions of some of the poses.
- Strength, flexibility and balance are things that I’d like to hang onto as long as possible. They are so important to aging well. Yoga is helping me with all of these areas, even if I did fall over three times the last time we did the standing big toe pose.
- Breathing seems intuitive, but breathing well really is not. Yoga reminds me of the right way to breath and is one of the aspects that I occasionally incorporate into other parts of my daily routine. I’ve always been a fan of focused breathing. Having my girls take five deep breaths was one of the ways I could calm them when they were younger and having a temper tantrum.
- It’s an hour and a half each week that is focused on me and my health. I really need to continue to carve out more time but at least yoga is now an ingrained part of my weekly routine.
- Shavasana at the end of the class is my happy place for a couple of reasons:
- I feel accomplished that I’ve survived another class;
- It’s incredibly refreshing to wind down with this restful phase.
- While I might feel pain during my yoga session, it’s a good pain. It doesn’t seem like yoga would hurt, but you are pushing and stretching your muscles and body in ways that they aren’t challenged all the time so you do feel it. I always feel amazing the next day. It helps so much with little daily aches and pains. My body needs yoga.
- Even when I think I’m stretched out as much as possible, there’s still more. At the end of class, the teacher provides adjustments during Shavasana, and it feels amazing. I always feel better after she does her corrections.
And, for a bonus reason… It’s a positive vibe. Everyone is happy to be there.
So, while I know I’ll never master yoga, I also know it will always be a part of my routine. I get so many benefits from even my poor attempts at yoga. Why would I stop going?