14 Reasons To Start Yoga
This week’s MATter Natter is an expert round-up asking 14 experienced yoga teacher’s and enthusiasts why they decided to start practicing yoga. As a little extra bonus, I will briefly share my own story too!
Jenn Russell [@The_Travelling_Yogi]
I started with ashtanga around 2010 to try to fix an injured back and over the next two years fell in love with yoga … so much that I took my first teacher training two years later in 2012.
Over the past six years of teaching my style has changed pretty dramatically as I’ve dived into the spiritual side of the practice.
I still love the occasional ashtanga primary series though!
Kim Woodley [@Yogini.Kim]
I started yoga nearly two years ago.
I was always curious about it because of its mysterious character and its mindfulness.
One night I felt particular restless and couldn’t sleep, something I always struggled with.
This night it went so bad that I became desperate and tried an online class for relaxation.
I was overwhelmed by how much it helped me and became addicted immediately.
Since then I practice yoga daily
Ali King [@AliKingYoga]
I have been a Reiki healer for over ten years, the practice is very meditation and mind orientated.
I started yoga over 7 years ago to connect both body and mid practice.
I feel so happy not that I have both the healing energy from Reiki and the physical art of yoga in my
Alexa D’Orazio [@YogaByAlexa]
I started practicing a long time ago – when I was still a kid in 2005.
I never had a regular practice though until 2011.
My original reason for practicing yoga was because I thought it was fun, and I still do!
But why I practice has definitely evolved.
I do yoga asana and meditation now for the peace and clarity it brings me.
It’s the time on my mat where I can think in quietness is why I keep returning to my practice.
Agi Gwara [@Agisway]
I started practicing yoga over 7 years ago.
It was just a thing to do on my crazy juice fast retreat in Turkey.
I didn’t even dream that yoga would be something for me.
I’ve been growing my yoga practice since 2008.
I was the kind of girl who was always trying new classes.
Dance, squash, pilates, HIIT, you name it.
I’ve tried them all, but it only took me, one class, to love yoga and I haven’t stopped since.
Stine Brink [@StineBrink]
I started practicing yoga in 2004, I was 14 at that time.
I started because I was in a accident three years earlier. I got a fracture on a vertebra in the thoracic part of the spine, and two other vertebrates got damaged as well. My neck and my lumbar spine were also injured. And I got a concussion in my spinal cord.
I used to be a super active girl, playing all sort of sports. Due to the accident, I couldn’t really do that anymore.
I saw an add in a newspaper about yoga and I thought to myself “why not try it out.”
I was in a search for ways I could move my body in, that was not hurting it.
So I went to my first yoga class in an age of 14. And I tell you. I thought it was SO boring. But my body completely loved it, and I felt something happening to my mind again.
Laura Helm [@LevelUpYogaTherapy]
I was drawn to yoga in my late teens – around the year 2000- but back then there were very few yoga classes in the north of England. It was not mainstream.
Then, Geri Halliwell, the Spice Girl, brought out a yoga video and I used to practice that when I was at University. I would say my main motivation back then was to have a 6 pack!
That fizzled out, but I still had this desire to do yoga. It was a little thought that would pop up now and again.
I would always put blocks in my way though. Telling myself there wasn’t enough time, or that classes were too expensive etc.
Then in my my early 30s – about 4/ 5 years ago, I moved to a small surf village with a yoga class on practically every corner.
I had just had my second child, I was going to the gym 4 times a week and I started practicing Ashtanga twice a week.
My motivation at this point was to escape, to find some peace. Being a mother to 2 young children, with a husband that worked away 6 months of the year I was exhausted. I used to go just for the Savasana- plus it meant my husband had to do the bedtime routine so I got a night off 😉
Robert Busch [@Yoga_Dude]
“When I started my own yoga practice at the age of 25 I wasn‘t sure at all if yoga was something I could enjoy. Actually I felt pretty much, that it‘s not for me.
At that time I was suffering from chronic back pain after a snowboard injury I had at the age of 20. That chronic pain led me into non functional lifestyle choices such as junk food, loads of alcohol, not much sleep and almost no physical activity, besides playing in a punk band. Of course it was not all bad and I also had a lot of fun. But at one point the price for that fun was just to high and I my back pain got worse and worse. A psychiatrist I was seeing at that time suggested me to take pills against my depression or start “something like yoga”.
I didn‘t want to do yoga at that time, as I thought it was something thats only for hyperflexible vegan women in their late 30s. I was wrong. I just knew that I even more disliked the thought of taking pills to control my mind, so I called a friend of mine that happens to be a great yoga teacher.
I remember before my first class, I was reading the wikipedia article about yoga and didn‘t really understand what this was all about and how it would help me.
And then during my first class I realised that I was barely able to touch my knees in a forward bend. As you can imagine it was not the most pleasurable experience to find out that my body was a total mess at the age of 25.
But I kept going to that class and after a few weeks I noticed some improvement in my flexibility. Even more important I started enjoying the relaxation part at the end of every class. To be honest I was looking forward to that Savasana at the end of class the whole time. It was the only thing I really enjoyed about Yoga, when I started.
Those moments at the end of class helped me reconnecting with myself. I started enjoying to notice what‘s going on in my body. Becoming the witness of whats happening when I come to stillness. At that time I was deciding for myself to dive deeper into that whole Yoga experience.” – Robert
I went to my first yoga class in November 2009.
At that time I was struggling with depression and my therapists suggested to try Yoga.
First I had a strong resistance towards the world of yoga, but over time I started feeling better and found a new connection with myself.
Adell Bridges [@AdellBridges]
I began 3 years ago on the recommendation of a physiotherapist.
It took me a few months to take his advice and begin yoga, but it was because a friend recommended an app to me that she was enjoying.
Veronica Brown [@YogicByNature]
I was introduced to yoga while expecting my second child.
Back then I was into kickboxing but I had to stop because of severe morning sickness.
So a friend suggested I tried yoga instead.
I wasn’t too sure but she eventually persuaded me.
I was instantly hooked.
Ali Washington [@Aliyah_PT]
I started my practice at the ripe old age of 14, during the summer between grade 8 and grade 9.
The ”why’s” around beginning my practice are slightly fuzzy.
What I mean by this, is that I had a superficial reason: I was a dancer and wanted to maintain my flexibility and strength over the summer months, and I was really into being active at the time.
But I think the real true reason I went, was because I genuinely really wanted to go. I loved being in the studio! There was something about the practice that felt like home to me.
I got myself an unlimited ‘Summer Sizzler’ pass, as they referred to it, giving me unlimited access to classes for the whole three months of summer, and I am sure I ended up paying around 2-3 dollars per class. I went so often.
I would wake up early in the mornings, walk to the studio, do my practice, walk back stopping at the health food store on the way and be ready for a healthy lunch before most of my friends had gotten out of bed.
I was a very strange 14 year old to put it bluntly!
After that summer I focused less on yoga and went back to ‘regular’ life – which for me was very busy, returning to my practice the following summer.
From there, yoga was in and out of my life, until I took my teacher training in 2010 at the age of 21.
This is when yoga became the through line in my life that it is now.
I started practicing yoga only about 7 years ago.
I found out I had scoliosis when I was 12 years old and had chronic back pain.
I also suffered from anxiety and depression.
My mom had attended a yoga class at a local gym and told me that I would probably enjoy it!
I went and I was in love!
After the class was over I felt my pain go away and I felt like I was on cloud nine!
I seriously experienced the ‘yogi high.’
I then went to my library and checked out a bunch of books on the subject so I could learn on my own and do it at home by myself.
That then led me to finding a teaching course and completing my 200 hr teacher training program.
Nina Jarnum [@NinaJarnumYoga]
I started practicing 15 years ago whilst living in England.
I had been a competitive horse rider for years and my body was suffering.
I started yoga for mobility and flexibility.
A few years ago I used to practice yoga in-between weight training and hefty gym sessions in order to stretch my muscles out and have more of a rest session.
I chose to attend yoga classes at my local gym.
However, I really enjoyed pushing my flexibility and seeing the results.
So I started to practice yoga more during my private workouts while working at sea on motor yachts.
I wanted to grow my skills and almost started training to become a personal trainer, however, just in time, I decided that I wanted to specialise in yoga instead.
For me at the time it was ALL about the physique.
However, after spending one month in Rishikesh in India, my entire outlook on yoga completely changed.
No more was it all about the body and physical aspect.
I was addicted to the spiritual and mindful side of yoga combined with keeping physically strong and healthy.
I used to hear people say it all the time, but yoga has well and truly changed my life for the better!
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Wishing you a mindful and happy life full yoga and good vibes,
P.S. “The quality of our breath expresses our inner feelings” ~ T.K.V. Desikachar