I say this in all sincerity: I do not know how other people function without yoga. I mean, there is so much that is going on here in the United States that is very stressful. I do not know how I would be coping if I didn’t have my yoga practice. I suppose I would find some other way to manage but for me I haven’t found anything that quite as well.
Change from the beginning
I have been practicing yoga since 1999, since I was 24 years old. I look back and see that I didn’t really know what I was doing on the mat. But even then I could feel a real difference. In fact, that is what drew me to yoga. I could feel a change taking place right away. Today, over 21 years later, I am still feeling a change taking place.
The ability to change has been incredibly impactful, helpful, even lifesaving, since the start of the pandemic. The amount of unknowns, causing stress, has been profound. On days when I think I just can’t take it anymore a practice has turned down the stress and worry to more manageable levels. Over and over my impression of the stress, and whether I think I can handle it, has changed.
The change brought on by the Asana and Pranayama practice is so tangible and profound. Which is why I keep practicing. Which is also why I don’t really understand how people are managing without it! I know, of course I know, there are other ways of coping —> exercise, therapy, self-help books, yelling into a pillow, etc. I have tried many of these things and they do work but nothing has had lasting change like a yoga practice.
How it works
Yoga works for lasting change because I can approach the practice from the body point of view, the breath point of view or the mind point of view. On days when the body doesn’t want to comply I can rely more heavily on breath and mind involvement. On days when mind is not complying the body and breath end up being more helpful. Usually, there’s always some layer of myself which will comply.
To get started on the path of yoga you just need to find a teacher to teach you. Find a class that works for you schedule and try to attend with some consistency. In the beginning we first unlearn what we think yoga is and then learn how to use the study of myself for attaining yoga. You certainly need a teacher for this. Also, people don’t know how to do the poses, so that needs to be learned too.
Anyone who wants to can begin learning. To start with just try one class.
Right now, until it safer, the classes are online. To take a class you need a device with a camera (phone, laptop, tablet) and a place to do the class. I have seen students make most any room in the house work: laundry room, kitchen, bedroom. I can help with the set up if you need it–just let me know. And let me know if you have any questions.