Imagine a room that is completely empty where the walls are stripped bare and the floors are freshly waxed. Now place yourself in the middle of the room, sitting on a yoga mat crossed legged and your hands on your lap. Feel yourself breath as you take numerous slow inhales and exhales, concentrating purely on the way your body moves to the movements. Imagine how relaxed you would feel, how calm your muscles and mind would feel, how utter blissful that moment would feel. This was the first thing I felt when I started doing Yoga. It was the beginning of a life long mindful journey that has taught me to love your body.
At first I was hesitate about the idea of starting yoga. I believed it wasn’t for me as I am not flexible or lean, and couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact of physically turning my body into a human pretzel. But, after countless debates with my friends and family, I finally decided to build up enough courage and start doing it. At first, I was nervous. I still had my doubts as my mind went into overdrive with thoughts. What if I can’t do one of the poses and hurt myself? What if my sister walked in on me and would judge me for it? Why are all the yoga instructors females? I was so worried about what everyone else would think that I forgot the reason why I even wanted to start yoga.
I stared at my television screen that had a yoga tutorial on pause and sat on the floor. The time was finally here and for some odd reason, all my previous thoughts vanished. I no longer cared what my sister would think. It didn’t bother me that I was following a lady’s movements. I had faith in myself that I would successfully do any pose that came my way. In that moment I felt calm. I haven’t even started the meditation and I could already feel it working.
So, I proceeded with the video and followed the lady’s movements, her directory, her actions, and I let my thoughts fade away. The more I focused on what I was doing, the way my body was moving, the feeling of my muscles all being used at once, the more I felt at ease. Like my body was weightless and I could move through the sky if I wanted to. After the thirty-minute video was over, I sat back down with my back straight up and sighed. This was the reason I decided to start yoga, to find inner peace with myself and to love your body, regardless of my gender, age, or body type. To appreciate what my body has to offer and to relax my mind
I continued to do daily yoga, as it became apart of my routine. I’d set aside thirty minutes, whether it was in the morning before my breakfast, or in the middle of the afternoon before my shift at work and exercises my mind and soul. Regardless of when, I made sure it was something I got done. And after a few weeks, I noticed some major changes
If you were to ask any of my friends, they would tell you I’m one of the laziest person they know. It came to a point where I developed a bad habit of staying up late and waking up into the early afternoon. I didn’t realize the strain this had on my body. I was irritated quickly, I didn’t have much motivation, and it was almost like I didn’t care about myself, or my body. But after a month of doing yoga, I started to feel my body energize itself, fixed my sleep schedule and had more energy during the day. It was like my body turned from being a full time coach potato into a fully equipped rocket ship ready to blast off.l
Not only did I find myself bursting with energy, but yoga also enhanced my sleeping schedule. As stated before, I use to have the worst sleeping patterns. Some nights I would stay awake until sunrise and go to bed when my mother would wake up to start her day. But again, with the benefits of doing yoga, I have maintained a sleep schedule that doesn’t involve watching the sunrise or seeing the disappointment on my mothers face, both exceptional perks.
Now that my body and mind were finally being well rested and getting the attention they deserved, I realized my strength tolerance was peaking. It amazes me at how much muscle use your body uses everyday, like taking groceries out of the car for example. Before, doing normal activities where like a chore where my arms and legs got weak easily after ten minutes. But now, it is a piece of cake because my body has adapted to the fact that my muscles are being used daily by yoga.
To put aside the advantages my body has adapted to, the most important change I’ve noticed was the lack of stress and anxiety. My mind had become so relaxed that it didn’t seem like I even have any stress left in me. Of course that’s no possible as I am still human, however it does not consume me like it use to. Before, that’s all I would think about. Stress ate away at me like a carnivore eating its prey. It took away the very little energy I had and sucked the life right out of me to the point where I didn’t even want to leave my house. With the help of yoga, I have learned to relax and calm down when I feel stressed out. I take a moment to control my breathing, ease my mind and loosen my body and figure out a way to control it. Yoga is not just about toning your body, or gaining muscle, but also the mental estate it puts you in and how it can better your judgment and thinking.
Overall, this experience has taught me to love your body, the ability to free your mind, and to feel the beauty of what your body are capable of achieving and has to offer, which for me, Yoga turned my life upside down, literally. A few months ago, I would have told you that I would never do yoga and that it wasn’t for me. If you asked me the same question today, I would answer saying that yoga is for everyone, no matter your age, body type, or gender.
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