Should Have….Yoga?

Should: used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions.  I have been thinking about the obligation we place upon ourselves when we say things like “I should” versus “I want”.  I often use I should when I am resisting or avoiding something.  I should turns into I had to.  I want turns into I wanted to.  The latter sounds so much better.  Until should turns into “I want to”, it is hard to move forward willingly.

For years I have said I should start going to yoga classes.  I was reluctant to make the effort even though I knew there would be benefit.  I had a lot of excuses as to why I kept putting off the inevitable.  There have been many days following a tough workout at the gym when I have thought, “Boy I bet this would be a good day for yoga.”  When I finally got tired of persistent back problems and muscle aches and the fear of falling on my face, I took the advice of friends and my orthopedist and took the plunge. I signed up for some private yoga sessions to start off on the right foot.  The instructor I am working with owns her own studio and is incredibly knowledgeable.  She was a nurse and a gym rat and took a yoga class one day years ago.  She told me she “totally sucked at it” – and kept with it. Even the most graceful can have a rough beginning which is reassuring to know.  Yoga is a learning process.  Learning is what inspires me and changes my ‘should’ to ‘want to.’  I find working with someone who has a great knowledge of the history, the practice, and the muscle groups associated with poses means there is much to be gained from every class. Self awareness, mindfulness, strength, knowledge, courage, grace are just a handful of things.

After a recent session, I went to Starbucks and one of the Baristas asked where I had been before my latte stop.  When I shared I had come from yoga, she said, “I should do that.  I should go to yoga.”  I explained I took up classes because of annoying back problems.  She said, “That is what I need! I should really get into yoga.”  When a friend of mine recently asked, “What’s new?” I replied, “Yoga is new for me.”  He said, “I should try yoga. My Dad has been telling me I should try it for years.” It makes me wonder how many people want to try yoga and have yet to do so for no good reason?  My friends who have been too busy for yoga tell me how much they miss it.  It seems to me most people may benefit from a little yoga.  Chances are quite a few people have thought about it yet resist, do not want to or maybe feel uncomfortable or embarrassed?  I think learning to enjoy embarrassment is part of yoga. Wobbling, shaking, losing balance, sweating your brains out are all just part of the practice. I am discovering it is a learning experience each time I roll out my mat.

The interesting thing about yoga that had never really clicked for me is: you can practice anywhere, anytime! I never realized how easy it is or why it is often called a ‘personal practice’.  The mat, the studio and the instructor are nice to haves. If you are without those things – have yoga, will travel. I now add a little yoga to the end of my gym workout every time I go.  Today at the gym, I was unable to find a space for a little yoga so I left before I finished my workout. I came home and threw down on my porch.  Why not?

I tend to promote things I really enjoy or really believe in or from which I see benefit.  I am still a newbie yet have already given thought to people I know who would benefit from yoga.  There is so much to learn whether physically, mentally or spiritually.  Yoga has something for everyone regardless of age.  It can be as challenging or as relaxing as you wish.  If you want to get started, talk to someone you know who practices yoga. I feel it is worth investing in a lesson or two with a good instructor to learn technique but a class is a good start too.  There are many ways to investigate yoga including instructional videos on Youtube to see how it works.  It is worth trying without a doubt – only if you want to though!

Thank you for reading this blog!

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