It was almost one year ago that I lost my job because my position eliminated. After a few months the stress was getting to me, and I knew I had to do something to relieve the stress. On a whim I decided to look up yoga videos on Netflix. I knew that yoga was more than crazy pretzel poses and was something that I could do with my knee injury. At the time, Netflix had several yoga videos, and I decided to try out Healing Yoga for Aches and Pains. Something happened to me internally after my first practice. I literally felt a click in my brain that changed me. I know, it sounds hokey, but it really happened. I added their other video, Healing Yoga for Common Conditions to my queue. And when I felt a little stronger I added a third video to the queue. All the videos were the restorative type, but they were more than just stretching. They brought me peace, helped me to feel less stressed, and I was getting some exercise. One thing was for sure: I was hooked on yoga.
But now I needed variety. Using the same three videos was getting boring, and I need to be challenged. That is when I found Yoga Journal. They have lots of videos online for all levels, including a 21 day challenge. I went out and bought myself a cheap yoga mat, a block and strap and got to doing a video every day. The videos were anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Soon enough I wanted more, so I would do two videos. Some days I would do both videos in the morning, and some days I would do one in the morning and one at night. By the time I got to day 21 I was ready to join a studio.
Yoga Journal has a directory of yoga studios across the country, so that is where I got started. I found a few studios in the Ahwatukee/Chandler/Tempe area, and I looked at each of the websites. To be honest, price was also important. Being that I was unemployed, I needed to find something that was affordable. One of the studios that intrigued me was Yahweh Yoga, which offers Christian based yoga. Soon after my search I found a Google Offers coupon for the studio – $20 for 20 classes. I jumped on the opportunity!
My first class was on August 13, 2012. I jumped right in and signed up for hot yoga. I was nervous and excited about going. I had several people tell me that the first class is the hardest, and they were right! I had to stop about halfway through because I felt like I was going to throw up. But I finished the class! I was in awe at some of the people in class. The poses that they could hold were inspiring. I could not wait for the day when I was as strong as them. I started practicing three times a week, two nights of hot yoga and one morning of gentle journey. Over the last eight months I’ve had the opportunity to take yoga classes from all of the yoga teachers. I love the differences in their teaching styles, and I always learn something new from each one. At this time I practice three times a week, all hot classes. On those rare days I have a weekday off of work, I like to take a morning class if it will fit in my schedule.
I love yoga! I love that I will never be good at it. I love that it is always a challenge. I love that every time I practice it is a different experience. I love that some days I feel like I am the strongest I’ve ever been, and other days I feel like everything is a new experience. I love that I can choose to have a relaxing, stretching, restorative practice, or a heart pumping, muscle building, sweat dripping session. I love that no matter what kind of day I’ve had, I can leave all my worries and cares at the door and I can spend one hour focusing on me. I love that it teaches me how strong I am, how strong I’ve become, and how much stronger I will be.