For what it's worth, I had NO IDEA what I was getting myself into when I first thought to go to yoga. I was in a pretty low place in my life and was willing to try just about anything. And for some reason, my anything was yoga. I will forever be grateful to The Universe for giving me this amazing gift.
10 Things No One Tells You About Becoming a Yogi:
1. You will begin to understand what the women with sick bodies all have in common: they yoga.
And by sick I mean, dayyyummm!
You know, those women who are feminine, soft, toned, and sexy all at once. I always thought I had to be grunting in the gym to have any sort of definition.
Turns out, standing on one leg with your hands at your heart does more than any grunting ever will.
2. You will begin to sleep better at night.
Seriously. I use to stay up for hours in bed before falling asleep. All the energy you feel throughout your day has to be released somehow. If it’s not, our bodies hold onto it. Think about how many days of energy must be stuck in those hips of yours if you’ve never consciously released it.
Kind of scary, right? No wonder we have such a hard time sleeping. Our bodies can’t actually relax.
But don’t add more worry to those joints.
Release it with yoga. Yoga is the secret.
3. The pain in your back or sciatic nerve will begin to disappear
Again, our bodies hold onto all of the energy we feel and encounter. I have experienced some pretty painful sciatic moments. Not to mention this new thing that’s happened since turning 32 where standing up makes me feel like my hips don’t actually bend.
Turns out they still do, thankfully, but not as well when I’m not active in my yoga practice. It’s one thing to know what you’re solution is, it’s another thing to actually implement it. Are you going to be the kind of person who just knows what your solution is.
Or the kind that actually takes action.
I personally want the one that allows me to move from sitting to standing without embarrassing myself.
4. How do I say this one tastefully… Your digestive system will be better than ever, no matter how much help you need in this area.
Haven’t you heard your yoga teacher encourage you through your shaking thighs in Utkatasana that it’s like your intestines are being massaged?
It’s true, and it works.
5. Your mental strength will increase in ways you have yet to experience.
It’s so true when they tell you that the way you show up for your practice on the mat is the same way you show up to your life off of the mat. From the outside looking in, it seems like people who practice yoga just need to be flexible. But this is not true. In fact many people aren’t flexible at all, especially when they first begin.
Yoga is so much more about building your mental strength.
It’s about doing things you’re scared to do.
It’s about not giving up the moment you start to shake or feel that bead of sweat.
It’s about pushing through and not giving up, no matter what!
It’s about improving how long you are able to hold that pose as your practice grows.
It’s about taking off of your mat, everything you learn on it.
6. You will begin enjoying the scent of incense.
I was not a fan of incense before yoga, and to be honest, it took me some time to love it, even with yoga. But now the smell of incense immediately relaxes me.
Incense is one of those smells you can’t get anywhere else. It’s almost like a drug for me. The moment I smell it, I’m put into this calm, balanced and grounded state.
And the best part is this holistic drug doesn’t change my sobriety date! Holler!
7. You will want to eat healthier, without having to think about it
All those diets and those foods that you haven’t been able to say no to, the ones you’ve tried everything to eliminate and continue to find yourself disappointed by your lack of self-control. These self battles will begin to disappear.
One day you’l realize, holy s*$%, i haven’t eaten that in a month!
It will occur to you, you didn’t have to work at it. It’s like magic.
Your body and mind will stop craving the foods that are not adding to your growth and it will begin craving that which does.
8. You will begin doing things you said you’d never do.
I had never meditated, chanted or stood on my head, nor were these on my to-do list.
Meditating has no doubt changed my life. But what’s most important here is that by doing things on our mats that we haven’t done before, we also remove emotional, mental and spiritual blocks. We get the opportunity to take this off of our mats as well.
In our everyday lives, we become more willing to say yes to things we would have never considered before.
It is no coincidence that my life began to deeply come alive around the time I made yoga a part of it.
9. You may find yourself crying during class.
I was unaware not only that this would happen, but that it was common. What a relief when I found out I wasn’t the only one. I remember using my towel, for months, during Savasana to cover my eyes as the tears rolled down. More than anything, I wanted to know why.
As I’ve mentioned, all the energy we feel gets trapped in us. Yoga gives us the opportunity to release that energy and those emotions. Often through the form of tears.
Our yoga mat gives us a place to let go of the moments we didn’t even realize were still a part of us. It’s normal, and it’s healthy.
Let it flow, and watch yourself begin to feel lighter and feel a sense of relief you have yet to experience.
10. You will find a peace and calm that you’ve never felt before.
All that crying, your healthier digestive system, your sleep-filled body, and the well earned pride in your increased strength, will have you connected to yourself in a way you’ve never been. All of the releasing of the energy that no longer serves you will not only gift you with relief, but it will clear space for what is meant for you.
You will begin to feel the same way as those yogi’s you see who have been practicing for years and have this ‘je ne sais quoi’ energy about them. It’s a calm energy that makes many of us uncomfortable when we have yet to experience it ourselves.
But now, you get it.