Get fit · Healthy living

Happiness, joy, and “om”

For me, yoga is not just a workout – it’s about working on yourself.

–Mary Glover

Ah, yoga. I used to think yoga was only for new-age hippies who would tell me I was a terrible person for eating meat while they drank their bark root tea and twisted themselves into impossibly complicated knots.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The first time I walked into a yoga class, I was overweight, recovering from an ankle fracture, and trying to find some way to simply get a sweat on without harming my joints. I started my yogic path with hot yoga, which I practiced 4 or 5 days a week for over 6 months.

I got my start in the very studio pictured, Atlanta Hot Yoga. They helped me get a great base in the foundations of yoga, and I felt the benefits almost immediately.

Eventually, though, I began to yearn for smaller, more personalized yoga classes. Atlanta Hot Yoga is a fantastic studio, but they’re extremely popular, and the classes can  often be jam-packed with fellow yogis-in-the-making.

I moved on to a yoga studio in the Buckhead area of Atlanta called Active Sol Yoga.

Active Sol specializes in vinyasa flow classes, and I found that I got a ton of individual attention. This is the studio where my practice truly developed into what it is today. Living wayyyyy outside the perimeter with no car means I can’t practice there right now, but I fully intend on going back as soon as I can.

While practicing at Active Sol, I also took weekly community classes at Nirvana Yoga in the Grant Park neighborhood. These were great lunchtime classes with a lot of student input.

These days, I practice on my own, and tailor my practice to meet my needs that day. I still try to make it onto the mat at least once a week, but I feel a need to get deeper into my practice as the stress level in my life begins to build back up.

Yoga, for me, has become a form of moving meditation, a place where I can feel mentally, emotionally, and spiritually uplifted. It sounds corny, but it’s true. The more I practice, the more benefits I reap.

That’s why I’m going to be starting Yoga Journal’s 21 Day Yoga Challenge. I’ll be practicing a minimum of 15 minutes every day for 3 weeks. I’m hoping to kick my practice back into gear, and see the benefits in every area of my life again.

Because when I’m calm and centered, my life follows suit.

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