I’ve had many of my Pilates clients come and tell me that while they love my Pilates classes, they HATE yoga. I used to be the same way. When I work out I want to feel like I worked out and yoga always seemed too slow and uninteresting.
But that changed when I got pregnant. Prenatal yoga seemed like a great idea.I was so used to going balls to the wall in everything that I did, that yoga gave me a chance to slow down, listen to my body and connect with my unborn son. I realized that yoga didn’t have to be simply about “working out,” it could be about mindfulness and learning about my body and myself as a person. I also realized that I could not selfishly push myself to the limits, now that I was growing another human being.
After I had my son, I stopped going to yoga. Time was scarce and what little time I had to work out, I felt, needed to be focused on cardio and weights–losing the baby weight and transforming my body. This feeling continued as I entered NPC bikini competitions. I barely had enough time to fit in all the workouts my coach gave me, there was certainly no time for mindfulness and breathing.
After my last competition I went on vacation and stumbled upon this lovely little yoga shop, Yolicious, while I was out for a bike ride:
If you are ever in Santorini, Greece, you must check it out– it is located on Kamari Beach, you can find the Yolicious page here. The owner Konnie, a cool German woman who wore a “F**K YOGA” t-shirt to our yoga class, is really passionate about yoga. Her passion was infectious and after I bought some cool workout clothes from her shop, I had to sign up for her sunrise yoga class the next morning.
Konnie and I spoke about how American culture is always “push it to the limits” when it comes to working out and she told me that she focuses on breathing to help slow us down and calm our minds.
Yoga on the beach was magical. This was the view:
The yoga class was the perfect start to my morning and I felt energized and ready to start my day. It really rekindled my love for yoga and helped me better understand how beneficial it is to use yoga as a complement to my other activities in the gym.
Now that I am back home I am trying to take a yoga class once a week on my active rest days. It really helps to release my tight muscles, calm my mind, and bring perspective back into my life.
Interesting that even though I disliked the slowness of yoga, it was probably exactly what I needed to achieve balance.
Do you enjoy yoga? Have you ever thought you didn’t like something before you really understood it?