I walked into my first yoga class a few years ago. Being a recent California resident at the time, I had always heard about the benefits of yoga and how it strengthened both your body and mind. I was a frequent visitor to the gym but always felt that your workout had to be super intense to be beneficial.
I would run ALL the time and attend every “boot camp” style class on the schedule. I thought of yoga as a stretching class and walked in with the intention of appreciating my ‘off day.’ Twenty minutes into class, my perspective changed.
Yoga Is NOT “Just Stretching”
Not only was I challenged mentally, but also my body was pushed physically to a degree that I had not experienced before. Wow, I thought, this is definitely not a stretching class.
I continued to attend yoga on a regular basis, incorporating the practice into my usual cardio-bursting workouts that I was used to. I was soon introduced to the spiritual aspect of the practice.
I loved the quotes that the teachers would read and how each class left me putting life in perspective. Placing value on becoming a spectator of my life rather than the participant was placed at the forefront of my mind.
My friend then introduced me to a new yoga studio in my neighborhood that offers hot yoga. It’s not your traditional Bikram yoga, but they offer classes specifically targeted for sculpting and toning your body. I felt this was the perfect combination of my previous mindset of ‘more intense the better’ and my newfound love of yoga.
Finding The Mind-Body Connection
Through attending these classes, I began to feel a better connection with my body that I did not have before. I could be having the worst day and after one class at this studio and a shower later, I feel like a whole new woman.
Developing this deeper relationship with myself, and a better appreciation for my body, is one of the best experiences I’ve had.
Without stepping out of my comfort zone and subjecting myself to unfamiliar territory, I may have never gained this relationship with my true self. I’ve learned more about what I am looking for in life and how important it is to live your purpose each and every day.
Value every moment and start your day with gratitude. Step out of your comfort zone every once in awhile and take advantage of every opportunity placed before you. You never know how it may change your life.
by Stacey Thomas - Co-founder of Your Beautiful Story, Stacey’s mission is to share women’s stories around the world to connect others through their story, message and purpose. You can connect with Stacey on Instagram and Twitter.
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