How Yoga Changed My Life
From foreign to familiar
When I think about it, my first exposure to yoga was through my grandparents in the late 1980s in Hollywood, Ca.. My grandfather had a regular practice of hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga with Bikram himself. Yoga was no where near as popular as it is now. So, it marvels me that my grandparents got into yoga at this time in their late 60s. My grandfather loved it so much, he designated a special room for practicing yoga outfitted with a floor to ceiling mirror and heater, so that he could work on his poses. I remember accidentally walking in on him practicing yoga, and marveling at what seemed so foreign then, but now so familiar.
Feel strong, centered and relaxed
I was reintroduced to yoga through my sister sometime after college. That was the first time I practiced Bikram yoga or yoga period. I remember walking into the room, and the 90 degree temperature just smacking me in my face and thinking to myself, ‘Can I last in here for 90 minutes?‘ And, I did! It was amazing how I was able to ease into the poses. It didn’t look perfect, but it didn’t need to be. And, that was the awesome part! I would soon learn that yoga gave me a sense of inner confidence that I couldn’t get from anywhere or anyone else.
Now, almost a decade later, I’m still practicing yoga, and I always feel better than before I started. I feel strong, centered and relaxed. If I feel tense or stiff, I can get a good stretch, almost akin to getting a massage. If I feel emotionally spent, I can jump on the mat and feel better. I haven’t always been consistent in my practice, but whenever I return, it always feel good. Once, I got comfortable with the poses and felt good about my practice, I started practicing yoga at home through watching Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. Her free full length videos are amazing! She has videos breaking down the basics to yoga for weight loss. Practicing in a community is also great. My favorite yoga studio in DC is Yoga District, as there are studio all over the city. The classes are affordable and the instructors are skilled and welcoming. Another great yoga studio in DC is Embrace Yoga DC. So, if you’ve ever thought about trying yoga, try it and find what feels good!