Lifestyle

Why I Yoga: Things I Learned From Stepping on the Mat

As I type this, I am still sweaty and catching my breath from the Yoga practice that I just completed. My practice today was centered on boosting confidence and love for yourself.

I don’t do Yoga to lose weight. I think doing any exercise to lose weight is a complete waste of time because honestly, if that’s the reason you’re doing said exercise, you more than likely hate it.

I love yoga. My relationship with yoga has been a journey, but I finally feel like yoga and I are very happily wedded. For a long time, I did yoga in order to lose weight, which like I said, was a complete waste of my time. After using it as a weight loss tool, I did it because I thought that it was the “cool” thing to do. I loved telling people I practiced yoga and would brag that I did it every day. I thought that guys liked girls that did yoga and it was the most “feminine” exercise a girl could do.

After that, it became a platform of competition that I would use to “compete” with my roommate. We both loved it and I wanted to prove not only that I was “better” at it than her, but that I loved it more too.

Finally, I believe that I am a place where I can stand firm in my relationship with yoga. It may sound silly, but in a way, yoga saved my life. When I really started enjoying yoga the way I should have been all along, I was about a year post beginning treatment for my eating disorder. I had zero confidence in myself and was still believing all the horrible things the ED was making my mind tell me. The wires had not re-wired and I was stuck in this weird in-between place.

Yoga became a thing that made me feel strong, and really taught me that I AM ENOUGH. It reminded me to look inside myself and cherish the beautiful life that I have been given. I’ve been out of recovery for about 2 ½ years, and yoga still produces these same feelings for me every time I step on the mat.

I yoga because it makes me feel strong, and beautiful, and powerful. It gives me such a sense of self-love and makes the world stop for a short time. It makes me feel healthy, both physically and mentally, and it reminds me that it’s okay to slow down and just sit. It has made me more patient and aware and think much more deeply. When I really began to see yoga as more than just shapes and something that “skinny, pretty” women do, it created a whole other level of self-love and content inside me. It provided me a way to handle stress and to make myself feel at peace immediately. I yoga because it makes me genuinely and overwhelmingly happy, which is something that we should all strive for every day.

Namaste

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