Why I Love Yoga

Someone asked me the other day, why do you love yoga? To be completely honest, I was really thrown off by this question. Yoga has become part of me. It’s like saying, why do you love your arm or your leg—yoga is like an everyday functioning body part. An incredibly important one.
I paused to think for a moment. I began to recall what first brought me to yoga. Like so many other people, pain introduced me to my practice. Running marathons over the course of 5 years put my body and my mind in a burned out state and I was looking for something different, a change. That’s when I found yoga.
Yoga was first presented to me at my community gym. It was a Monday night class and I can still remember how I felt after the session was over. My mind was finally at peace. I was relaxed and felt free from the stresses that were weighing down my thoughts prior to class. I felt no disappointments and no regrets that I did not “work hard” enough. Something felt different. The change that I needed finally came into my life.
In yoga, there are no goals and no expectations. You show up on your mat and you practice. There are no set miles to run, no training plan in place, no stop watch, no one you are competing against. It’s purely just you. To have this space in my life to be flexible, to adapt and to check-in with myself has been an enlightening experience. Nothing is more powerful than having the ability to connect to your core and detach from the expectations that you place on yourself. It has changed my view on how to live my life.
My passion for running quickly ignited again once I discovered this new outlook on life. I began to run to the rhythm of my heart beat; feeling the vibration of my breath with every movement and feeling the presence of the outside world around me. It made me once again realize that my passion for running is not on achieving the distances or attaining a certain pace, but connecting to nature; watching the sun rise or sun set, smelling the changing of the seasons in the air, feeling the first snowflakes of winter on the tip of my nose. This connection to nature and is the same connection I find with myself on my yoga mat every day.
Yoga starts on your mat but what I love most about it is that it exists in every part of our life, if we allow it too.

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