Why I Use Yoga

When I started yoga, I knew it was something I wanted to do. I had a lot of questions before doing yoga, and the first thing I did was read the Yoga Sutras. From there, it became clear what was expected from me and what I could be expected to do. Being able to sit back, breathe slowly and mindfully, relax and be in that moment was a really important goal of mine. It was a very spiritual way to approach my practice.

It was only after moving to a smaller apartment in Chicago that I found a balance between my work and yoga practice. I got back into yoga because I realized my yoga practice was a great stress relief for me, but I also realized that yoga is more of an art than anything else.

It’s not necessarily about your poses, how high, how low or how complicated it is. It’s more about being in that moment of not thinking, not thinking and being in the present moment. I love that about yoga, because I have a few moments in my day where I don’t think at all, and I love knowing that my practice brings me out of it in a really beautiful way.

I didn’t really get into yoga until after I had children. That’s when I noticed how well it made them calm and relaxed and how it helped them in their daily lives. I remember one day, I got in some trouble, and they were having so much fun in the yard that I couldn’t see the lesson going on. I was worried they would get into trouble while at yoga. But my yoga teacher told me that since they are in a quiet area, I had to relax them and have a positive mind state. When I saw my children relaxed and happy, it hit me like a huge brick, I could teach my children how to do the same and not have that anxiety.

I feel really fortunate to be doing yoga again. People always say, “You’re lucky to still have a job, because what would you do?” Well, I would be doing the same things I used to before doing yoga; I would still be working and trying to make ends meet. But I would also be meditating to get more out of my practice, and I would be doing yoga to let go of bad habits and negative mind states. If you do a lot of work to try to make people feel better, it won’t end up being a great experience.

My parents are very supportive of my love of yoga, to say the least. They even let me share videos, articles, lessons online for free, because that is a benefit of teaching students. I am so fortunate to have that as a job. I don’t want to work in any other way and still be able to meditate.

The only problem I have had is a couple of times when I have been in the sun too long or been in a new area and missed practices. It makes me worry that I am not in touch with my practice, so sometimes I don’t bring my bag with me when I leave the apartment. That’s something I usually work on by going in the neighborhood when I am not home and going to a nearby yoga teacher, to meditate while I walk. It brings me back into the moment and helps me be more in the flow of my practice.

I know it sounds a little cliché to say, but to me, it feels so good to just be doing it to be able to meditate.