"Inward calm cannot be maintained unless physical strength is constantly and intelligently replenished." Buddha quote
It's no secret, I've been practicing yoga, and recently I've been practicing ALOT of yoga. I'll give you the cliffnotes on how this came to be. I had a friend who was teaching yoga at our gym. She encouraged me to attend one of her classes. I'd always wanted to, but it can be intimidating to go to a class where you have absolutely no clue what you're in for. lol. I decided to attend her Gentle yoga class on a Friday night (because I'm that cool as to where I really have nothing planned Friday nights. lol). Well, I absolutely fell in love with this class. It was dark, it was relaxed, and more than that, I felt absolutely amazing afterwards! I had to go every Friday. It was the perfect ending to the week.
Fast forward through the worst day of my life, the worst time of my life. Obviously, I did not attend yoga while grieving for my Dad. During this time, my friend moved to another state and another lady came in to teach the Gentle Yoga class. It took me a while, but I mustered up the courage to go, and she was absolutely lovely. The class was just as wonderful as I remembered, and soon I realized that the meditation part of yoga was really helping me to deal with my dad. My mom starting coming with me, and I think it's really helped her as well. We've become close with our instructor, and we've started taking another yoga class with her (just a regular beginning/moderate yoga class) and I've also added another yoga class at the gym to my already active gym schedule. And (if you can believe this) I'm looking at picking up another yoga class (Happy Yoga, where they play live music during Savasana).
A friend of mine asked (nicely) where the line draws from student to teacher. lol (because I'm so addicted). Here's the thing. Yoga is sooo much more than taking a class at the gym. It's more than just the physical practice that we know it to be. It is also mental practice. Quieting the mind, meditation, linking breath, looking inward. It's wonderful and personal and I really just love it. I would encourage everyone I know to try it out. The beauty of yoga is that it is YOUR practice. If you only want to challenge yourself to the physical, then that is absolutely fine. If you want to find the quiet inside you, then you can. If you want to master Sanskrit and Sutra, you can. It's is completely yours, you can go as big or small, as fast or slow, as deep or wide as you want to. Whatever you choose, you will find benefit in the smallest of yoga practice. It is wonderful! Try it... you'll like it! :-)
For more information, go to Yoga Journal for the basics.