What yoga has taught me


Ava Manelis, Editor-in-chief

If you’re like me, you’ve done so many different exercise classes but haven’t necessarily found ‘the one’ for you. I’ve done everything, it feels like, from cycling to different workout classes to even attempting to run in my own neighborhood (running= not it.)

The one workout class that has actually stuck with me is yoga, as it is not only a physical experience to make you stronger, but also a mental experience that has helped me learn many things about myself and the world. 

In a crazy time like this, people are definitely looking for just about anything that can bring them clarity and a peace of mind. With so much information and uncertainty going around, it’s important that we take time to realize that this is just a phase that is happening in our life, and that everything will be back to normal eventually. Yoga has definitely helped me realize this, and also to help me center myself and stay grounded in this time. 

Although I can’t really put into words all the things that yoga has taught me, here are some of the things that I’ve learned through practicing yoga these past few months:

It’s hard, but important to be present in each moment of your life

By focusing on being present and only focusing on the task at hand when doing yoga, I’ve learned to be a lot more present in my everyday life. It has help me to stay connected to what I’m doing in each moment, as that is what you are doing in most yoga classes. I’m definitely the type of person who gets distracted by my phone or random things easily, so yoga has helped me to change this.

Balance in life is key

By breathing deep and again, being present, in each yoga class I take, I’ve learned to balance a lot of things in my life. I’ve learned how to prioritize my health and fitness as well as the different aspects of my life through the practice of yoga, which I’m really glad to have found. Again, I get caught up in little day to day issues very easily, so finding this balance has been great for me. 

Working out doesn’t always have to be so intense 

Yoga is definitely not a shred, sweat filled workout, although it definitely can be with the help of a space heater and a humidifier. But for me most days, it’s a workout where I feel sore but not dead. I like yoga a lot because I don’t always like workouts that are so intense on my body and make me feel like I am going to pass out, and yoga definitely doesn’t do this to me.

Listening is just as important as talking

This one is pretty random, but I thought about it the other day as I did an online class and found myself so deeply listening to the instructor on my screen. As a girl who loves to talk and have conversations with others, I realized how weird it felt that I was just listening to this girl talk without my response. I think listening is a trait a lot of people don’t have in life, and yoga has definitely helped me to listen more to others in my day to day life. 

Taking time off of your phone is very important

By setting aside 45 minutes to an hour to practice yoga most days, I have taken lots of time off of my phone in the long run. This might not seem like a long time to some people, but I know I’m not alone in saying that I’m addicted to my phone, so an hour is pretty good for me. It’s helped me to focus on something else besides my phone and make me a lot more peaceful of a person overall. 

If any of this could relate to you or is something that you feel like you might want in your life, try practicing yoga one of these long days in quarantine.

Whether it be a Youtube video or some moves you make up in your head, anything that has to do with yoga can help you to center your soul and even change your life for the better.