At the end of August, I decided I needed to find some sort of exercise routine, so on September 1st I registered for a month of unlimited yoga classes at the studio a few blocks from me. In September alone I took 26 classes, and I have no intention of cancelling my membership. I was genuinely surprised both by how enchantingly challenging I found yoga and how good it was for me mentally. I’m as Type A as the come, and pretty conservative, so the perception of a hippie-dippie yogi is not one easily nestled upon me, but here I am, eager to head to yoga class after work, and here’s why.
Focus on the breath
While yoga is a serious workout in an of itself, the hardest part for me was breathing. Good flow yoga is driven by breath–using the exhales to get you closer to the pose you want, etc. And I really struggled with that at first, because I don’t often think about things as simple as breath. But they matter! And now that I’ve started to think more about my breath, I can use that outside of my practice to deal with stressful situations, to make sure my posture is good, and to deal with less than friendly coworkers. It’s also a great way to clear the mind. It’s hard to think about all the things going wrong in your life when you’re focusing so hard on the breathe within you.