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What is Yoga?

I’ve been struggling to write something personal about why I am so passionate about yoga. I wanted to explain my truth and why yoga has become such a big part of my life. When I found my yoga teacher training application that I wrote years ago, I knew this was what I needed to share. We were asked to answer the question “What is Yoga?” not as a definition from a dictionary, but what it is to us. Although my answer is personal and I wasn’t sure I wanted to share it, I couldn’t think of a better way to explain what yoga is to me than to let you read my letter:

I started doing yoga about a year ago because I needed to clear my thoughts. I was thinking about something too much, it was painful, and I needed to be able to leave it behind. I was also really stressed out at work. During yoga class was the only time that I could truly let go and stop worrying about everything. Because I was so occupied with concentrating on my breathing and with learning each pose, as well as listening to everything the instructor was saying, I had no time to think about anything but what I was experiencing at the moment.

I was able to lie back on my mat, focus on my breathing, and just be, and it was such an incredible and freeing feeling to be able to let go. Over the weeks I could feel the difference it was making in my body, my mind, and my heart. My body began to feel so much better and stronger. Just sitting at work on a day-to-day basis became easier. My legs became so much more flexible, and I didn’t have to adjust my position every 30 minutes. I loved the way I could feel the positive change in my body, the way I was healing, and the way I was finding more peace within myself. The environment in the classes is one of total acceptance of oneself, and I began to feel that in myself.

To me, yoga has been an absolute life changer. I have completely changed the way I live. I no longer feel like I am just existing, I feel like I am truly living.

I run 5km, 3 times a week now, and a year ago I never ran. I made the decision to always take care of myself and my body, and I have been sticking to it. I have a different outlook on life, and I can’t wait to experience all of it. Most of all, I have learned to be able to let things go.

I am looking forward to being able to practice yoga on a daily basis. It is something I hope to continue doing for the rest of my life. I love the inner peace I feel while clearing my thoughts and completing the poses. I love the strength and flexibility I gain from practice. I decided to do this course with the hope of being able to experience this on a daily basis from now on for the rest of my life, and I hope to be able to share this with others one day. To me yoga has been a positive spiritual, physical, and mental journey, and I am so excited to continue learning.

Though I was fairly new to yoga at the time, I already felt the changes within. I understood that practicing helped me to heal, let go, develop self-awareness and self-acceptance, be present and experience the now, and gain flexibility and strength.

Years later I can say that I still feel the same way about yoga. I have continued to remember to keep taking care of myself, to keep challenging myself, and most of all to keep learning. Last year I completed my first half marathon, which had been a lifetime goal of mine. I’m not an amazing athlete, but I am proud to be pushing my personal boundaries :)

I teach yoga to share my passion for something that has truly been such a positive influence in my own life. I strive to give my students space and connection to their heart, to their voice, and to their own unique passions. I believe that taking the time to be still, to breathe and to listen will help you tap into your innate wisdom and guide you to where you truly want to be.



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