Strength in Softness: 4 Reasons Why I Started Yoga

“Everything you need,

your courage, your strength

compassion and love:

Everything you need,

is already with in you.”

Like the many people who has done yoga, I could go on forever about the many wonderful things yoga has done for me. See how I used yoga in all my sentences so far. 🙂 I have been following yoga classes on you tube for a year or so.  Yoga is soothing, challenging, comprehensive, and powerful . Yes, powerful! Powerful not only in a way that it will give you the workout you hoped for when you started (it does that too) but also it cultivates inner strength to face even stronger challenges life throws your way beyond the yoga mat. I have just started and there are still a lot to learn. And I can wait. I can take my time learning and unlearning, grasping and letting go. Of things that matter and things that don`t serve me anymore.

So why yoga?

1. It is the WORK OUT.

I struggled with my body image since i turned ten and that got worse as I got older.  I had a difficult time coming into terms with my weight and life sucked (at least that`s how it felt like). So I got into an unlimited-amusement-park ride of diet, eating disorder, and self pity. Of course, I was working out too. And working out for the sake of looking good was frustrating. 45 minutes Cardio work out, 30 minutes abs buster work out, 20 minutes butt shaping work out,  10 minutes flabby arm work out, the list just doesn’t end.  Poking at your already struggling self image that parts of your precious body are not beautiful or firm enough. And then here comes yoga. 40 minutes of yoga class will have you sweating deliciously. While at it, i have come to appreciate,  that it implores you tenderly to see your unique body as yours and yours alone. It teaches you to be aware and appreciate of what your body can do and be gentle with it for what it cannot do.

2. It is like chocolate.

“Phenylethylamine is sometimes called “the love drug”, because it arouses feelings similar to those that occur when one is in love. Another neurotransmitter, serotonin, is a mood-lifter, as well. One chemical that causes the release of serotonin into the brain is tryptophan, found in (wait for it!) chocolate.”…said a chocolate website. Replace yoga for chocolate and you get the same result. 🙂 Hahaha, (before you roll your eyeballs), I have been living in Japan for 6 years and it can be really lonely being away from my comfort zones and not being able to have deep and meaningful conversation because #languagebarrier .  In short, I was searching for connection, it was  in many ways like craving for chocolate goodness. And all the while, the connection that I was searching for is already there, yoga just gave me the openness to recognize and explore it.

3. It is ready-to-where.

You read it right. Yoga is accessible anywhere. There was a meme on how to do yoga. 1. Have a body. 2. Do yoga. And voila, you don`t even need a yoga mat (although it helps a lot if you have one).  There were times that travelling was around the time that I just gotten started with my work out regime. Making sure that hotel in Thailand has a gym or stuffing 1 kilo gram dumbbells in my luggage just in case they don`t. With yoga, thankfully, I don’t have to worry about all of that. I can do it inside my hotel room before I set off for the day’s itinerary  or after a long day of sight seeing. Doing so cultivated a grateful and mindful attitude of the experience of that trip.

my yoga mat at the Japanese ryokan

4. It does not discriminate.

Yoga is for everybody and for every body. For every state of mind and emotion.  I was afraid that I wasn’t flexible enough or even thin enough to do it. But of course, I would find out that those fears were unfounded and even silly. Yoga helped me understand that my body is unique. There are poses that may be easy for some people but not for me, and that’s ok. That`s the flexibility that yoga is offering and all I had to do was show up.

I was 31 when I started and I wish that I have done it sooner. It’s like meeting your best friend (and yeah chocolates, too).  Yoga is not a miracle, what it does is help you uncover life’s little miracle by creating awareness and gratitude in your mind and heart.  And And that ladies and gents was how i met yoga.

4 thoughts on “Strength in Softness: 4 Reasons Why I Started Yoga

  1. I love this article pai. Indeed yoga is like chocolate! Delidious, addicting and good for you 😊

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