I started yoga when I was a junior in high school so almost 4 years ago and the minute i stepped on to my mat, my life changed forever. I initially started it because my gym had free yoga classes that were included in your membership and yoga was just starting to take off as “trendy” so I definitely wanted to jump on that bandwagon. I had done a little bit of yoga before so I knew some poses, but I was not flexible AT ALL, so I took an old workout mat I had lying around and went to class by myself and then I met Jesse.
Jesse was the yoga instructor who taught the class and she. was. amazing. Everything you ever pictured in the perfect yoga teacher, she is it. She’s not only BEAUTIFUL and rockin a solid six pack, but she knows exactly what you need to hear during your practice. She emanates positive vibes, even when you can tell she had a bad day. She was the reason I fell in love with yoga and since then my love for it has only grown more.
Jesse was the only yoga teacher I had for 2 years. Every Monday and Wednesday every week was our power yoga class and I knew nothing else but that. Then my whole view of yoga got changed when I left for college. It was so hard to say goodbye to my die hard yoga teacher who I loved with all my heart, but I intended to keep up my practice when I left for school. Once I got there and adjusted to my freshman year college life, it was a few months before I got to the gym to try out a yoga class and it was awful. It was all over the place and I didn’t feel like I was working out at all and I never went to another class on campus again. My whole freshman year, I did not do yoga unless I went home for breaks to go back to Jesse.
Then summer rolled around and Jesse said she was working at a new yoga studio downtown so I decided to go and check it out. This was my first experience in a real yoga studio and not in a gym and it was SOOOO eye opening. They had sage sticks burning and incense and the room was small and warm and everyone had their mats close together and was so friendly and happy to be there and I fell in love. I also went and tried all the other teachers who worked there and learned a new appreciation for the different ways different teachers teach.
When the fall rolled back around for my sophomore year to begin, the exact same thing happened again as my freshman year and I was so bummed that I just didn’t go and take some classes at the gym, but as the semester ended, I saw something new was coming to College Park in the spring… a new yoga studio.
In the spring, they had free classes for the beginning of school so I went in and it was like finding a new home! I had found my place to help me grow and relax and it was right down the street!
Now the point of this story was not only because I’m so appreciative for the amazing yoga instructors and friends that have helped me come to love yoga over the years, but I think it really shows how yoga is a practice that you are constantly growing into. You will have days where things just aren’t right and days where you feel like you’re just floating on your mat. You will learn so much as well; about your body, your mind, and how you should treat them and listen to them. And through it all, you will find your home, your peace, your center. You will find what you need because yoga has been there for me over these past 4 years through some very tough times. You learn to appreciate your mat and your time on it. You become so proud of your successes and take your failures as a time to grow and then you take these lessons into life.
So how did yoga change my life you ask? It made me grow into the human I am today. It made me more empathetic, conscious, aware, and happy. It has taught me so many life lessons and helped me meet so many amazing people and I just cant wait to see where it takes me in the next 4 years to come.
P.S. I attached this video of me having an off day in my practice, it was slow and choppy and it really frustrates me when my practice looks like this, but I also love it because it reminds me so much of when I first started practicing and honestly, it kind of cracks me up too.