I was on a call yesterday with a more than 20-year friend and colleague. She's a retired body builder, a super fit gym junkie and all around health and fitness freak. She asked me since I am back in lockdown in the UK, "are we going to get more cooking videos again??" To which, I explained that we were just launching DW and OF COURSE there would be cooking videos. As we were talking about the launch, I was reviewing the different facets and we settled on yoga as a topic.
"I WOULD LOVE TO BE INTO YOGA" was her comment, "but, I just can't connect with it. I can roll into the gym and throw weights around for hours, but yoga? No way." Problem is of course, as we get older, while strength training and lifting is ALWAYS important, we need to start being more conscientious about injury and even permanent damage. Yoga is an amazing way to engage in strength training with less risk of injury (although it can happen!) and yoga adds so much additional benefit; Strength, Mental Health, Digestion, better focus, stress reduction, holistic health and so, so much more...
So why do so many of us find yoga so intimidating??
My answer? - Yoga, much like meditation, forces us to empty our minds and clear everything out to focus on our inner selves. When this happens, we become vulnerable to feelings, emotions, thoughts that we spend most of the day distracting ourselves from. The feelings we don't want to face, the tension, the anger, the stress. Everything our primitive mind brings up that we want to run from.
These feelings are uncomfortable, painful even. I've been in yin or restorative classes (where I find myself most emotionally vulnerable with yoga) where I myself or others have started crying in class. It's scary!!
However, this is all the more reason to connect with yoga. Connecting to ourselves and allowing ourselves to clear and process emotions (don't get me wrong, it's not easy! and it will always have moments of difficulty) allows us to find the strength to grow in the way we want to. That growth might be to stop a bad habit, find our way out of a toxic relationship, focus on a new goal in our career.... anything. The mental focus and strength that can be gleaned from a consistent yoga practice will support you in all of this.