“I wanna last, wanna last forever
I wanna dance, dance, dance all night
Baby bend over, baby bend over
Baby bend over, let me see you do that yoga”- Janelle Mona Yoga..
Yes, I love this song and yes, I love doing Yoga.
If you were born into a Christian household like I was, you were told Yoga was Evil. You may have heard doing yoga meant praying to a different deity other than God. Just like anything in life I have learned to research things for myself. Yes, many yoga practices pray to other deities, while others similar to Vinyasa does not.
Doing yoga is a therapy for me. It allows me to have the quiet I need to reconnect with myself and to have some one-on-one with God. Yoga allows me to focus my negative energy on positivity while creating balance in my life.
I remember going into my first yoga class and seeing women and men of all ages, ethnicities, and sizes. As a 35-year-old, the one thing that stuck out to me the most was seeing a 70+-year-old woman doing a yoga tree extended pose.
I was ready to run out of this class because I could barely touch my toes or do a simple plank, and yet I’m seeing this woman do a tree pose with ease. Although I was discouraged from staying in this class, I looked at this elderly lady and in my mind said, challenge accepted.
Deciding to stay in this class that day, turned into 2-years of yoga practice. Throughout the year’s yoga has allowed me to became more flexible, liberated, and focused in my everyday life. Yoga has helped me to find the courage I needed within me. For me, yoga was a great way to provide me with amazing self-care.
When we look at self-care we generally think about skincare, drinking more water, eating better, and doing basic exercises like sit-ups, push-ups, or going to the gym to lift weights. Self-care can extend to other things such as self-meditation, scripture base readings, journaling, or doing stretch exercises similar to yoga.
Yoga benefits you by:
- Improving your sense of stillness
- Healthy mind functions and clarity
- getting a better night’s sleep
- preventing conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and auto-immune disorders. Or in my case, helps strengthen my heart
- maintaining and improving your muscles, joints, and organs
When doing yoga you should consider a few things
Why are you practicing yoga?
- I personally practice yoga for cardio, weight loss, and as mentioned above, for one-on-one time with God.
If I’m a spiritual person, does this practice use mantra or anything else that may be prayers to other Gods/deities?
- Some yoga practices do pray to other Gods, please research and find the one right for you
Have I consulted with my physician if I have health issues?
- I have a heart condition and I absolutely consulted my cardiologist.
Do I have the right mat, workout clothing, or blocks to practice?
- You can purchase yoga mats from as little as $5 at Five and Below or the $100 range at a yoga store. I would highly recommend spending more on a mat to help with your hands and knees.
- Please wear yoga pants (or comfortable pants that are not jeans) a good sports bra and heat ventilated shirt.
- Yoga blocks are a personal preference, but if you’re new to yoga I recommend it for some positions.
What are the coast and should I do a class/studio research?
- Not all studios are good due to higher prices. I have actually done a $5 yoga class that gave me a more intimate and hands-on lesson than those at a high priced gym or studio. Shop around and find the best option for you.
What type of yoga class should I try?
- There are so many class options from restorative, slow flow, power flow, heated, and Barre Yoga just to name a few. I personally love a power flow and/or heated class but again choose the one that works for you.
How often should I Yoga?
- With this pandemic, I have slacked a lot. But, 2-3 days 45-min to 1 hr. per class in a week is recommended.
As you embark on your yoga journey, remember yoga is for you and no one else. Find out what style works best for you. The main thing I learned was to not compare myself to anyone else in the class. Everyone is on their own personal journey.
If you live in the Rutherford County area in Tennessee, here is a two yoga studios to check out