When you branch out of your comfort zone to try out a new activity; that your friends have been raving about or the internet keeps recommending to you, your perceptions of the activity are clouded by outside opinions.
I went to my first yoga class in my freshman year of college, entering the class with outside opinions directing my positive mindset into the class, but leaving at the end with no one else’s opinions but my own – that I had to come back to the next session.
You’re always faced with a concluding decision whether or not to continue an activity; sometimes the decision is hard when the positive and negative aspects balance out. Sometimes one outweighs the other. In my case, there were no negatives to steer me away from going to the next yoga session later that week.
Falling in Love with Practice and More
Thus, I started my journey with yoga. Oftentimes, practicing on my own and when I’m lucky, attending classes! I started yoga with the intention to collect my thoughts and carve out time specifically to reflect on the day, while stretching my muscles. Soon I realised practicing yoga was a great outlet for exercising too and I began exploring fitness through yoga, advancing my practice and challenging myself to hold poses longer.
From there on, a growing love for fitness allowed me to branch out to different means of exercising, allowing me to resume practicing yoga with the intention I started out with; as a reflective practice. Beginning my fitness journey with yoga helped me ease into exercising as a hobby, and built a habit of stretching before or after I exercise.
Yoga and the Cultivation of Healthy Habits
At the time, I didn’t know much about wellness, or that yoga was a practice of wellness. I simply enjoyed having a scheduled time to relax and think about, well, nothing. As I grow older, the idea of wellness plays a more important role in my life – not just through practicing yoga but to help build healthy habits throughout the course of the day. And, as they say, to strive to be the best version of myself – for myself and for those around me.
While I don’t often think concretely about wellness, I believe it is a mindset that has helped me act attentively and carefully. It inspires me to live a fulfilling life, and to care about my health and happiness. Over the years I have learnt to pinpoint when something obstructs my health or happiness, and carefully think of ways to reduce the noise to return to my regular state of mind, without worrying how long the process takes.
This Journal Post was written by Mira A.