Push-ups, pull-ups, deadlifts? No problem. But downward dog, penguin pose, warrior? No way. I’ll admit it: I never took yoga seriously for a long time. It did not really fit into my health goals of building strength, increasing my squat range or working on my sprint speed! Because yoga is like stretching and I dismissed it as a luxury for people with lots of time on their hands.
I could not be more wrong!!
My First Experience With Yoga
Although growing up in India I was always exposed to yoga, my real journey started about 6 years back, when I started doing a weekly yin-yang class at a small boutique studio here in Singapore. I was apprehensive to start of course. After all I was super inflexible (with the tightest hamstrings possible) and imagined myself a misfit amongst those flexible bodies in pretzel like poses. During the first class, I was a little impatient as I kept falling out of postures while everyone stood fierce and focused around me. But in spite of that, I left the class feeling more energized than when I walked in.
I was hooked.
“Yoga” Means To Unite Mind And Body
Yoga is a 5,000-year-old discipline from India and it was developed as a practice to unite the mind and body. The postures or “asanas” developed in yoga in recent centuries were designed to prepare the body to be able to sit in stillness for extended periods of time in meditation. Even though yoga has, in many places, morphed into a type of physical activity, I found it taught me to really slow down and become more aware about myself. I started breathing with intention and moving with purpose.
And over time Yoga really changed my life.
5 Profound Ways In Which Yoga Changed My Life
Yoga is beyond the physical. The balance of mind and body become the focus and you begin to realize the poses are just tools. Below I share five profound ways in which yoga has been transformational for me. And why it could be for you too.
1. New Beginnings:
Every day is an opportunity for a new beginning. My yoga practice is different every day. Poses that are hard on one day are manageable or even easy on another. I just have to accept what is happening on the mat for me today. I appreciate what I have on each given day and know I can start again tomorrow.
2. Accepting Myself:
My practice teaches me to be at peace with what is, even if it’s not exactly how I had envisioned it. Beyond just the physical it has helped me see that the person I spend the most time with is myself. I should be kind to myself, accept what I can achieve in the moment and love myself just the way I am.
3. Feeling Strong:
I never started yoga to get fit necessarily or lose weight. But as my practice became a regular one, my body started to change. All of those plank poses, vinyasas, and sun salutations added up to a stronger, more fit version of me. Now, I can even see the definition in my arms, my core and legs!
4. Aware of My Breath:
We breathe all day long but never breathe consciously and become used to shallow breathing. Every yoga class has a particular pranayama or breathing technique and it becomes your focal point, your guide. Yoga taught me to become aware of my breath and return to a natural deep way of breathing which is revitalizing.
5. Joy Of Missing Out (JOMO):
This is my favorite. Each time I step on my yoga mat it is a time to practice JOMO. When I come to the mat, leave behind my to-do list and stress, quiet my mind, and practice breath with movement, I get to experience the joy of missing out. And missing out has never felt so good.
Since taking up yoga, I’ve become better at living in the moment and understanding my body and what it’s trying to tell me. Ultimately, I’ve become more connected to myself. Whatever your experience of yoga to date, I’d urge you to approach it with an open mind and see what happens.
Shagun, Yoga Superfuel
Yoga Superfuel – Inspired by Yoga’s Principles of Balance
Did you know that Yoga has been so transformational in my life that it was the source of inspiration when I started out with my health & wellness start-up? Yes. Inspired by Yoga’s principles of balance, Yoga Superfuel stands for the balance between Nutrition and Taste! So that snacking can be nutritious too.