Yoga, Sweat and Keep Doing It

“…Exhale … and come back to a downward facing dog..” the room was hot and packed with people in Lululemon sports clothing. Our yoga teacher walked among rows of yoga mats, adjusting our postures gently here and there.  “Now bend your knees, look forward and jump on top of your mat without a sound.”

It might be the last yoga class before we fly out. I’m going to miss it while I travel.

I have an on and off relationship with Yoga for more than 10 Years. No matter how long did I drop it off in between, I always managed to come back for more. The thing is, my body craves for yoga after a while without it, just like a hungry man longing for a satisfying meal.

The Yoga class I’m taking involves a serious amount of sweat and hard work, not the picturesque sitting on a rock cross-legged, breathing-in-and-out-slowly type. Normally people comment something like “Oh you do meditation” after they hear the term “yoga”. A little bored with explaining Yoga ≠ Meditation all the time, nowadays I just go with the flow, imagining I often meditate in a beautiful ancient temple or on the white sand beach with nobody else around.

My first Power Yoga class scared me off a little. The class was small and it turned out I was the only one in the room who couldn’t do a handstand, not even against the wall. The second class wasn’t any better; I was the only one who couldn’t do crow pose. As I raised my hand awkwardly asking how to set up for this pose, the teacher glanced at me, rolled his eyes and turned away as if I didn’t exist. Feeling totally humiliated, I disappeared from yoga studio for a long time. Of course, I had many more power yoga classes after that and over the years I’ve finally learned to just concentrate on my own practice and not to be discouraged too easily.

Looking back, I wish I didn’t find so many excuses not to practice on a more regular basis for all these years like It is too hard for me. Or I don’t have time, I’m too busy with work.  Or most often, I don’t feel like doing it … The fact is no matter how much I struggle during a yoga class, it always makes me feel incredibly good afterward. I’m more balanced, more flexible and become a little stronger. It’s not about what fancy poses I can do. It’s about overcoming my laziness, my fear. Of being hurt. Of embarrassment. Of failing.

Keep doing it. It’s like anything we want to achieve in life: You’ll have to start doing, keep practicing and get better at it. There’s no shortcut.

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