3 Keen Living Benefits of Yoga

I have been practicing yoga since just after I graduated from college in 2002.  So I guess I am celebrating my twentieth anniversary of practice – who knew!  This sport/hobby/exercise has been a companion of mine that I go to not only to work out my body, but also to restore my mind.  It can bring peace and uplift any heaviness I am feeling.  Getting through even as short as a 22 minute class online can shift my perspective for the day.  Here are three ways in which I practice currently, all of which are beneficial for keen living.

First, I have written about this before, but it doesn’t cease to amaze me how great Yoga with Adrienne is. Over the years, her studio has progressed from what appeared to be a tiny studio apartment to what now looks like a giant, yoga-only purpose home gym overlooking the Texas hill country. I am happy for her success because her teaching has never changed. She has always been excellent at instruction of the poses as well as having an upbeat, fun and never too serious attitude guiding the practice. She innovates with themed days and inspires with 30 day challenges. I try to do one of her classes every week.

Second, a good friend introduced me to barre3 about a year ago. This studio is one town over from where I live, and recently I have been attending classes in person again with a mask and socially distanced. I find the space itself light and airy; it is well-designed to create peacefulness and at the same time positive energy. I like just walking in there! The workouts are an active combination of yoga, aerobics, pilates, and body weight based strength training. After a class, I feel invigorated and slightly sore the next day.

Third, years ago a CorePower yoga studio opened in my town. My younger sister asked me to try a heated yoga class with her. I did, but I was not a big fan of the heat. It felt overwhelmingly hot to me so I never went back. Recently, with the cold settling in to stay locally, I was searching for more yoga options and found CorePower again. I have truly enjoyed their basic yoga class that is not heated or just heated a little on super cold evenings. The flip side of this studio’s class offerings is the Yoga Sculpt class. It is an intense, bootcamp-style workout that causes massive sweating and huge soreness for me, but is one of the best all-around workouts I have done in a long time so I continue to attend. No pain, no gain.

I have thought about all the differently styled yoga classes I have attended over the years. I can’t pick a favorite.  However, the first class I ever took stands out to this day.  When I was twenty-two, I was lucky enough to work for a caring and highly successful corporation during my first year post graduation from college.  I was able to take practice LSAT exams during my lunch breaks, which I needed to do, and on other days, I walked through the building to a beautiful gym that offered wonderful yoga classes midday.  I loved the positive energy from the laid-back teacher. I loved the mellow feeling of the room – dimmed lights, candles lit.  All of this made for a restorative, uplifting yoga practice I could attend throughout the year.  I have reflected on that first experience; it is probably why I have continued.  I feel like I fell in love with yoga then.  Having that love has sustained me for these twenty years.  I am grateful for yoga being a love in my life.

This practice is part of a much bigger, and longer historical practice of yoga, that I am also grateful to be a part of.  The teachers or yogis that created the practices in all its different iterations are highly creative and caring human beings.  Sometimes we lose focus on the fact that our bodies and minds are 100% connected.  We need to restore both from time to time, and yoga does just that.  Yoga concentrated on mindfulness before that was even a word.  There are so many benefits to yoga that if you haven’t tried it, why not try one time?  I am glad I tried it.

© 2022 Megan Davia Mikhail

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