How Yoga Found Me & What It Has Taught Me
"Sometimes you get a calling to do something and you have no control over it. You can't even explain it. I went to this class everyday because it gave me what I was looking for. Peace."
I've been doing yoga for a good seven years now. I remember going to a class at a yoga studio in Beverly Hills called Hot 8 Yoga with my friend Kylie. It was a yoga barre class which incorporates ballet with weights and of course yoga! The class was in a hot and humid room. Yikes! But the music was current and fun, and I remember feeling so good afterwards. It also exhausted me and shut off my mind completely for an hour. I was red, sweaty and hooked. I started going everyday.
Sounds extreme I know, but sweating like crazy felt very detoxifying. The next class I discovered was called Hot Yoga, similar style to Bikram, involving 28 Hatha yoga postures. This was a yoga practice I really knew nothing about. The instructor became almost my spiritual guider. I loved to hear her speak and the words she would say really connected to me. She would also make the class laugh while we held these crazy postures. The class was intense and needless to say it was boiling hot! Growing up as a competitive figure skater, I was used to challenges and extremes. Some of the postures came more naturally because of my skating background. I did Hot Yoga almost everyday for a year. It found me. I like to say.
Sometimes you get a calling to do something and you have no control over it. You can't even explain it. I went to this class everyday because it gave me what I was looking for. Peace.
The health benefits of Hot Yoga are endless (every posture targets a specific organ, including the emotional center), but it was the spiritual and mental clarity I felt I really gained. I left lighter and freer. It was the one time in my life where my mind completely shut off. I would be in this meditative state holding each posture only thinking about my survival. The water I brought was my life source. Without my two big water bottles I wouldn't be able to survive. I voluntarily put myself through this struggle for 90 minutes everyday and it really was an escape from my personal struggles. A very humbling experience, seeing the juxtaposition between my strength and fragility and my inability to sway the outcome. Some days I glided through the postures as my own hero. Other days I struggled and was forced to lay on my back. Either way I accepted it. I couldn't fight where my mind and body were that day. I say mind and body because yoga involves just as much as the other.
At the time, I was struggling to my find myself, to find my purpose and happiness. I was making decisions in my life that led me to unhappiness and confusion. My career was beginning to feel stale and lonely. I was meeting the wrong men and continuing an obsessive compulsive habit. I had no choice but to keep going into this hot room and endure the journey. Who could save me but myself?
The Hot Yoga class is not one I attend much today. Today I have discovered other forms of release like yoga sculpt and power yoga. I go to both of these classes equally as much throughout the week. They really are the only thing in my life that keep me sane. Yoga is sort of my equalizer when I'm feeling anxiety and depression. I thank the practice of yoga after every class. I am grateful to it as it teaches me about life and myself. Whenever I am having a bad day, you can catch me in the yoga studio working it out and letting it all go. The practice has taught me to be more gentle on myself and accepting. I think I will always be working on that.