A couple years ago I hated yoga. I thought it was boring and kind of weird. My friend invited me to a yoga class and I turned it down thinking why would I want to do yoga? That’s not a real workout. She told me that it’s not about sweating or losing weight, it is more to unwind and loosen up. At that stage of my life I was a true cardio girl. I wanted to sweat and see the fat melting off of my body. I was so focused on losing weight and having a toned and tightened physique that I did not even consider the other healthy and life changing benefits of yoga.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is a physical activity that consists mostly of postures that are connecting through flowing sequences. Yoga is typically accompanied with breathing exercises and mediation.From an outsiders perspective yoga may seem like a lousy excuse for a workout. Before you judge a book by it’s cover (I know this from experience), consider these benefits of yoga:
- Improves strength, balance, and flexibility
- Aids in relaxation and better sleep
- Helps manage stress
- Boosts energy
- Helps relieve muscle pain
As you can see, yoga is much more than a couple mindless stretches and breath work, it helps your entire body and aids in health.
Ho Ho Kus Yoga
While I was off from work so I could think about whether I want to quit my job (check out: I Quit My Corporate Marketing Job During A Pandemic: This Is Why It Was Worth It), I decided to take a yoga class. As I began the process of looking for a nearby yoga class, I noticed that there were a lot of studios in my area! I was excited to see this because when I tried barre (check out: I Tried The Pure Barre Intro Class: Here’s What Happened) there was only one nearby studio. Some yoga studios were only offering online class (which is awesome option for people who do not feel comfortable going in person or who do not have a studio nearby) but I really wanted the full experience of going to an in person class. I decided to take a 10:30am Gentle Flow and Restore class at Ho Ho Kus Yoga in Ho Ho Kus, NJ. This was an hour long class and cost $20.
Class Is In Session
When I first got to the studio I had a face palm moment and realized that I forgot my yoga mat. Luckily the instructor had an extra mat available so I could continue the lesson. I decided to come early and take a seat in the back so that I could take everything in. There were only 5 other people in the studio (we were socially distanced) and 2 virtual class takers. I liked that the class was intimate because we I felt like it gave me the opportunity to speak with the instructor and not feel overwhelmed.
I ended up being the youngest person in the class (the other attendees were in their 50s and 60s). Because this was a gentle yoga flow this class is great for those who are older, new at yoga, or recovering from an injury. Some of the other participants were extremely flexible and it totally inspired me to maintain my health and flexibility as I age. There is no time frame on fitness. We often have limiting and untrue expectations of our bodies that hold us back. As long as we believe in our strength we can overcome norms and thrive in the way ghat we are designed to.
I entered the class with slight anxiety and left feeling lighter, more flexible, and at peace. I loved doing a morning class because it set the tone for my day, helping me to live the rest of my day in a more levelheaded state of mind. I have done many yoga practices online (Youtube has PLENTY of options) and I truly enjoy the virtual ones. However, there is something about being in the studio and feeling the energy of the room that is so serene and inviting. If you are thinking about signing up for a yoga class, I encourage you to do so. I think you will be impressed with how good it feels. I asked one woman in the class how long she had been doing yoga for and she replied “20 years. When you catch the bug, you don’t stop.”
Let’s grow together.
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