Why I’m Celebrating International Yoga Day

Today is International Yoga Day and I thought I would share with my readers why I love yoga.

The first time I decided to try yoga was about eight years ago. I had never done it before but was curious. I was at a job where I felt very stressed and unhappy. Someone had mentioned to me that yoga was very relaxing and a great stress relief, so I looked up local studios in my area, picked one and went to a drop-in class. Flash forward to today and I’m still going to this studio.

I remember walking into the class and feeling completely intimidated. What if I couldn’t do the poses? What if I couldn’t keep up? I decided to tell the instructor that I was brand new to yoga and might need some guidance. She put me at ease by welcoming me warmly and said she would assist me with any poses I wanted help with.

I walked out of that class feeling relaxed but must admit I wasn’t very graceful with the poses and had a difficult time clearing my mind to focus. It took many more classes for me to learn to do this.

yoga

After all of these years of practicing yoga, I can say with certainty that it truly is one of the best ways to relieve stress from your life. There’s a calmness that washes over me whenever I come to my mat. There’s nothing quite like sitting quietly before starting my practice, taking some deep cleansing breaths, and putting aside all the busy thoughts in my mind. Once I get started with the poses I tend to get lost in my yoga flow.

Yoga has been a tremendous help as I’ve struggled with depression. Whenever I’ve felt overwhelmed I’ve gone to a class to help calm my mind, body, and spirit. At times of uncertainty, yoga has given me clarity. Yoga brought me strength during both my pregnancies. There was something so beautiful about flowing through the poses and feeling my baby move inside (as if it were doing the poses with me!) What I learned in prenatal yoga I brought with me to the delivery room; finding the rhythm of my breath helped me bring my babies into this world.

I’ve even helped bring yoga into my children’s lives. We sometimes do poses at home together and I’ve brought them to the studio I go to since it offers monthly kids yoga classes. My son and daughter really like it, and I love seeing the joy yoga brings them. I’ve used the knowledge I’ve gained in yoga with my parenting, utilizing poses or the three-part breath to help calm my children if they are having a tantrum, feeling scared, angry or sad, and I’ve seen the benefit of doing this.

I love yoga because it’s brought nothing but positivity, calmness, and peace to my life when I’ve needed it most. And while I may not go to my mat regularly, yoga is like a trusted friend I can turn to whenever I need comfort; always there and ready to welcome me back.

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