After five weeks of yoga, I have found the experience to be a journey to a peaceful state of mind, and the disintegration of life’s everyday stressors. It helps fill the lungs completely with fresh air and awakens the muscles. It’s about learning how to release the mind as it succumbs to the voice of the body. It’s the successful performance of a new pose.
It wasn’t until this past Tuesday at Oasis Yoga Spa, in the Vinyasa Flow class with Instructor Frank Alesci that I really began to enjoy yoga. In my experience of yoga, enjoyment is discovering how far I can push myself with peace of mind to reach a new level of flexibility or a new advanced pose.
In my opinion, yoga is about having the perseverance to push through the pain of rippling muscles as they work to hold the body in new or familiar yoga poses. In this class, I really found myself connecting to the poses, as I held them with the best precision I could muster.
For me, the strength of mind comes when I harness all the negative energy in my life and use it, as if it’s fuel, to power my muscles as they work to hold my body in place. It’s as if I’m eliminating it from my body completely as I travel through the different poses throughout a class. Therefore, at the end, not only do I feel tired, but I actually feel lighter.
It’s the journey through the various body movements that takes our mind to new peaceful places. This is very similar to exploring new external environments. But yoga is an internal experience. As we move and contort our bodies in new or familiar positions we are experiencing our bodies in new ways. Whether you work to let your everyday stressors roll away or you harness them to enrich your personal yoga journey, it is truly your own unique adventure.
For those who are also new to yoga, I encourage you to try out different instructors. You may find that you respond better or differently to one over another. I urge you to give yoga at least a two-month trial period, whether you take one or several classes in a week. Don’t be afraid to let go and submerge yourself completely in the class by reaching to the depths of every pose. The biggest hump I had to get around was to actually allow myself to experience yoga for its complete essence.
In my first class, I was holding back, because I was very skeptical and probably a bit nervous. My best advice is to work beyond this as quickly as possible, as the sooner you let go the more meaningful your yoga practice will become.
After only five classes, I still know very little about the long-term effects of practicing yoga, but I think for now these initial discoveries I’ve had are enough. Will I practice yoga in the future? I think so, and you might even find me at Oasis Yoga Spa in a downward dog, or crow's pose right next to my mother. You may even spot me at the side of a gas station in a three-legged dog pose during your next road trip to the New England region. Alright, I was joking about that last part!
Thanks for reading, and I wish you all the best of luck in your yoga endeavors.