“Can’t hurt to give it a try.” That was my mentality as I walked into the Addison Gaia Flow Yoga studio at the beginning of 2017. I was feeling burned out at the gym and stressed out at work. When I signed up for the first week special, I said to myself, “I’ll just take a break from my normal workout routine.”
The first week special turned into a month that turned into a year of consistent practice, and that year brought about physical, mental, and emotional changes that I couldn’t have predicted.
Like many people, I was drawn first to the physical health benefits of yoga. My primary goal was to stay in shape, and the classes I was taking were more physically demanding than any previous workout routine I had tried. If you think you’re in good physical shape (like I thought), and you think yoga can’t be all that difficult (like I thought), I invite you to take one of Chrystal Rae’s Ocean classes and get your butt kicked (like I did and still do).
As I continued taking classes, I began to notice how good it felt to simply breathe. I would catch myself holding my breath at work or in traffic, suspended in the stress of the moment. Practicing yoga teaches me how to return to my breath, which then calms my mind. I use the present tense here, because returning to my breath is something I am in the process of learning.
Practicing yoga also continues to teach me to stay in the present moment. Holding a posture in space while continuing to breathe is the physical expression of a powerful idea – the idea that I will maintain presence in my own life throughout its highs and lows. I will not be absent by dwelling on what could have been or worrying about what could be. I will stay in the here and now.
See You Soon!