When I got back to Saigon at the beginning of February, my buddy Will invited me to a yoga class. He told me he had started going to yoga regularly and was digging it. I was interested and tagged along to class later that day.
It started with practicing yoga. But it ended with a shift in how I perceive my world.
The first few days were really challenging. My muscles burned and my body shook during the poses. I was sore. I counted down the minutes until class was over. I wanted to scream at the teachers for pushing me too hard.
But, I pushed through and continued to show up to class.
After about a week of regular classes, everything changed.
I stopped counting down the minutes until class ended; I started counting down the minutes until each new class.
Now, I wanted to yell at the teachers who didn’t push the class hard enough. I was still sore but I woke up excited, almost craving that day’s yoga class.
I was hooked.
Fast forward 7 weeks. I’ve been going to yoga class almost every day for the past 50 days.
After 50 days, yoga has changed my life in so many ways and more drastically than I ever could have imagined.
Fixing my back and posture
Before doing yoga, I didn’t think that I had a bad back. I felt my posture was okay and I never thought it was an issue.
I was wrong.
Sometimes you don’t know how broken something is until it’s been fixed.
The truth is, my back and posture was terrible. I was conditioned to avoid certain movements to avoid back pain and didn’t even realize it. My posture was awful and I couldn’t even correctly lay flat on my back.
Now that yoga has ‘fixed’ my back I move fluidly and with a new awareness. Every movement I make feels good. It’s amazing.
I was so out of touch and didn’t even realize it.
What else could be broken in my life that I’m oblivious to?
Lower body and core power
50 days of yoga has been remarkable for my legs and core. I’ve seen my core, legs and butt (you know you love it, ladies!) get bigger and more powerful. Basically, everything from my midsection down looks and feels stronger than ever.
That being said, I’ve also noticed a decrease in my upper body mass. But from an overall muscle mass perspective, the gains in my lower body and core far outweigh the losses from my upper body.
Honestly, I wasn’t expecting many changes in my body from yoga. I thought I was doing a good job hitting all my muscle groups when I lifted weights. The reality though is that my previous workout routine was severely lacking.
Another assumption I wasn’t even aware I was making proven false by yoga.
High quality girls
Yoga girls rock. The girls that I’ve met at yoga has been warm, down to earth, fit, adventurous, and beautiful inside and out.
If I had not started practicing yoga, I never would have know about the incredible community of girls there. I love yoga and I would do it in a room full of fat dudes if that was the only option, but the females are definitely an added bonus.
Yoga has opened me to a new world of connections with some remarkable people and for that I’m genuinely thankful.
What other connections has my life been missing that I don’t know about!?
Increased calmness and mental clarity
Yoga provides a great mental reset. It helps me stay focused on what matters and disregard what doesn’t. No matter what my mood is when I walk into yoga class, I exit feeling fantastic. It’s like yoga lifts whatever weight you have off of your shoulders.
The mental effects last long after class. I feel more focused during the days and sleep better at night.
Before starting yoga, I thought that my headspace was fine. Maybe it was. But, now I understand how much opportunity for mental growth and improvement there is.
Where else can I improve that I’m not currently conscious of?
While I’ve become a huge advocate for yoga and definitely recommend that you try it, the experience has been bigger than that. The most important thing has been realizing how oblivious I was to all the effects that yoga would have on my life.
You don’t realize how limited your spectrum of experience and understanding is until you start to push on its boundaries.
Should you start practicing yoga? Sure, if you want to. But, more than that, get out of your comfort zone. Expand your horizons with new experiences. Expose yourself to things that stretch you (get it?).
Yoga was certainly a catalyst for me. I can’t say what it will be for you.. But, I know you certainly won’t find it unless you take the leap into something new.