It’s no secret that I love working out. But the one activity – and mind you I feel like I’ve done it all (strength, bootcamp, spin, pilates, step, Zumba, swimming, soccer)— that has always given me a sense of peace and calmness is yoga. I remember trying it during college. At the time, I thought it was so boring. The lights were dim, the room was cool, the music soft. I felt like I would fall asleep. I wanted to scream, “Let’s get this thing going!” I was used to a whole different type of workout. Think of a typical aerobic workout class… bright lights, music coursing through you veins, sweat dripping off of your body, you get the picture.
Yoga was the complete opposite of that. Like I said, I didn’t like it at first. But not being a quitter, I went back. And back again. I kept going back and before I knew it, yoga became a weekly ritual that I found myself needing to go to. Yoga became my outlet. I swear, it’s food for the soul. It challenges your mind, body, and spirit. For me, it’s almost like a religious experience. I’ve found that it’s the one class that you can’t burn out on because there’s always more to learn, more ways to challenge yourself.
When I started working in Corporate America and I had a stressful week, yoga was the one thing that was all mine. It was one hour of pure solitude. No phone, no distractions, no worrying about the emails that were blowing up my Blackberry. It became my “me time”. I found myself loving the quiet darkness of the room and how I felt when I was trying a new pose. At first I would get frustrated but then realize I would be able to do it in time. I loved the beads of sweat that would form on my brow as I held poses and thought, “I want to collapse” but knew that if I could just hold it a bit longer… It was my escape.
So here I am now. I’m back to yoga once more. You don’t need to go to a fancy studio to do it. During my pregnancy, I did it at our gym with my husband (who is now a believer in the inner calmness it brings and actually enjoys doing it) where the instructors were some of the best I’ve ever had. They had trained near the Himalayas and were phenomenal. But having a baby who takes her best naps in the morning (and when I like to work out) means we stay here. So I do Yoga on demand through our TV. If you haven’t tried it I encourage you to. Or at least find an activity that is all for you. What brings you a sense of inner peace? A long run? Reading a great book? Whatever it is, don’t let the stresses and chaos of life keep you from it.