I really, really, really love yoga. I wish so badly that I had started practicing 20 yrs. ago. It has only been a little over a year since I started. Swimming has always been my favorite sport and form of exercise. Even as a child I was never athletic, but when I was in the water I was a fish. Yoga feels the same to me as swimming. I can't explain how, but it just does. Here is an article I wrote on the health benefits of regular yoga practice. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/7718684/yoga_how_a_regular_yoga_practice_may.html?cat=5
This article says nothing, however, about how yoga makes me feel. I'm not quite sure, so I am going to scribble down some thoughts and see if I can put my finger on it.
1. stretched-- there is definitely lots of stretching in yoga that I can't achieve by doing anything else
2. calm-- forcing myself to move slowly while focusing on breathing is extremely calming. I can't avoid feeling more at peace when I do this...it's impossible.
3. mindful-- I tend to have a short attention span. Yoga postures force me to be mindful.
4. long-- I was taller than other kids I grew up with, but am not really a tall adult, per se, but yoga makes me feel like my arms and legs are abnormally long. It's very strange when I am stretching in all directions and it seems as if my index finger will touch the opposite wall at any second and that my toes extend beyond the horizon and into the atmosphere behind me.
5. balanced-- well, duh, there's a lot of balancing in yoga, but that's not what I mean. I feel so balanced after practicing for a year that it feels like I am doing something that I genuinely should have been doing my whole life. It feels like yoga was really missing.
6. clumsy and inadequate-- on the other hand, after a year of yoga practice I feel like such a novice, and still stare in awe at some of the poses that I am sure I will never be able to do. But of course if I am sure that I won't be able to do them I never will be able to do them. Still, I'd rather not break my nose, which is what seems could only be the end result of any attempt I may make to successfully master the more challenging poses. I still have about 30 lbs. to lose before I'm even willing to try. No sense trying to "stand on my head" when the weight of my backside will only be pulling me back down. Yes, I know...the visual...gross!
7. bold-- I still feel proud of myself for entering into an area that was so foreign to me in the past and it makes me more willing to live outside of my usual self.
8. aware-- I have learned through yoga and how much I crave a yoga session, to be aware of what I need. I need the quiet focus and have remained conscious of this need and now do things throughout my day to ensure that I get it. It's strange to be so selfish. I used to line cook in a frenzied, desperate attempt to get what I needed to feel at peace with myself and my life. I felt guilty if I was home with my family and not cooking for strangers, which is what I loved to do and not contributing to the family bank account which is what I felt I should do. But when I was working I just felt guilty for taking precious time away from my family to do something that I wanted to do. Yoga just seems to fill the gap of all that need and calms me down when I start to get antsy and wonder what I'm going to do for myself.
9. bendy-- I am definitely more flexible and have fewer joint aches and pains since beginning yoga.
10. connected-- I don't know how much I buy into the religious aspects of yoga but there is a universal, timeless connection I feel to humanity by making yoga a part of my life. I'm not fond of people, really, and need few in my life, but this connection to other practitioners in our time and through the past feels more like a connection with nature than with other people, but stems from that connection with humans.
Well ten is such a good, round number, I think I'll stop exploring now. And just like when I post a rich, chocolaty recipe on my food blog or research such luxurious edibles as creme angles and cheesy potatoes gratin and end up craving them, I am now yearning for that yogalicious feeling and need to go get me some!