Saturday, February 11, 2012

Yoga - Boring or Beneficial?

The other day a friend of mine asked me why I bothered going to yoga class.  She said that any time she had tried yoga, she found it to be boring and futile.  She felt it was far preferable to go to a zumba or kettlebells workout class.  Much more fun apparently, and  you burn off calories and lose weight.

I could see her point to a degree. I mean, who doesn't want to burn off calories and keep trim and fit?  However, I know, from experience that yoga can do this too.  I have often found myself sweating the calories away when trying to hold a pose.  Okay, I may have to breathe gently into the posture, but every minute, calories are still being burnt.  In fact, I lost 17lbs in my first year of doing yoga, because yoga actually made me more aware of the rubbish I was allowing into my body.So, it has helped me to lose weight and it has definitely helped my flexibility.  I could not bend without back pain before and now I can touch my toes! I have since put 7lbs back on but I haven't been devoting as much time to my practice as I want to. However, I am still more aware than I was before I took up yoga!

Yes, yoga may seem boring at first.  I thought this when I first tried a class many years ago.  The problem back then was that I associated stillness with boredom.  When I started yoga again in my forties, I had a totally different experience.  The stillness that we practice in meditation, relaxation and the actual asanas/postures helps me to connect to something within me that I didn't know was even there.  It makes me slow down and connect to my inner self. Every body part we take our mind to in relaxation makes me grateful to be alive.  It helps me to accept the body I have and even more, the person  I am.

I haven't always felt like this so discovering yoga properly has been a fantastic thing for me. Sure, I would still like to be slimmer, more relaxed, more sanguine.  But hey, I can still strive for these things but not be devastated and depressed when I don't acquire them.

What do others think?