The other day a friend and I were chatting about our workouts. She recently lost a lot of weight… said pilates and running were her go-tos. Yoga, she said, doesn’t do anything for me. She made it clear that she wasn’t into the low-to-no-impact-stretchy-feely thing.
I then explained I don’t do yoga for what it does to my body–that’s secondary. I do yoga for what it does to my mind.
And with that, the conversation ended.
But not really because I’m still thinking about it.
I posted on why I go to yoga here. After a quick re-read I see that all my points still hold true, but as with all relationships or practices…things evolve.
Last year I decided to up my yoga practice to 2 or 3 times a week. And since I’ve made this commitment, something has definitely shifted within me.
I used to only seek out hearty vinyasa classes, the ones that flow fast, work all the muscle groups and let you break a sweat. While I still love a sweaty flow, it’s not the only kind of yoga I do. Like today, the class was actually quite slow. It was level 2 (not basics)– but the instructor stopped to explain the postures…a lot. She took her time in setting up the props, and getting us situated. In the past I would have been so pissed that she kept stopping. Wait, we’re supposed to just sit here and watch you?
But now I realize that the yoga doesn’t stop just because I’m not moving. It’s all part of my practice– flowing, sitting, watching, and just being there — like really being there with my mind and awareness.
I don’t go to yoga to put my foot behind my head, or hang out in handstand for days. I go to yoga to practice my ability to just be there.
So back to my friend who’s just not that into it…I totally get that. I understand the feeling of having limited time to exercise, and needing maximum physical results. (Spinning is great for this!) I have a regular fitness routine in addition to yoga so I don’t rely on the physical practice of yoga to get my body in shape. It’s more to get my mind in shape.
Yoga is a slow process. It takes a serious dedication to stay with it because the results are not obvious immediately.
But I can attest that it absolutely will do something…you just have to let it.
And if you’re still not convinced…check out my piece for Do You Yoga 6 Things Yogis Do To Look + Feel Awesome.
Yogi friends– please share why you go to yoga in the comments below.