Throughout the years of my unartistic life I’ve experimented with yoga a few times, but I never really felt like I was getting the full experience. I took a couple beginner classes at my gym, tried hot yoga a few times, and even bought yoga videos to use at home, all to no avail.
I don’t know if it was my fear of all the bare feet (podophobia is a real thing – look it up) or what, but every time I was done, I walked away thinking the best part of yoga was laying completely still at the very end.
We all know the benefits of yoga, and so many people speak highly of it, so I couldn’t help but feel like I was cheating myself by not truly grasping the concept.
(If you don’t know the benefits of yoga for whatever reason, here is an article I found specifically talking about yoga and creativity: https://yogainternational.com/article/view/awaken-your-inner-artist-yoga-creativity)
I’ve always been meaning to explore the artistic side of yoga and I finally got that chance when my brother’s wonderful girlfriend, Jessica, came to me and offered to teach me yoga as one of the quests for my blog.
Earlier this year, Jess explained to me that she was having troubles sleeping and felt exhausted all the time, and it was yoga that really helped her overcome this.
(You can find her Instagram account at https://instagram.com/jessicamuench/ if you want to see some crazy yoga videos of hers!!)
She came over Tuesday night and spent some time going over some yoga poses, their meanings, and the proper breathing techniques. Jess was constantly reminding me to be in the present, and to solely focus on certain areas of my body. I know this might sound lame, but this was the first time where I actually felt like I was truly understanding what yoga is about.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve grown up playing high-intensity sports where most of the focus is on action. Similarly, in my day-to-day life, I am often so busy rushing from one thing to the next that I usually only focus on the outcome of everything (like the score in a basketball game or a finished assignment).
I think I was approaching yoga with that same action- focused mindset before, and almost expecting to feel something after finishing the class, rather than during.
Thankfully, it was Jess who made sure to constantly bring my focus back to what I was doing and to really concentrate on being in the moment (and kudos to her for doing that because often I get caught up in laughing at myself or I get distracted easily).
I think what changed for me was approaching yoga as a creative endeavour, rather than as a good workout. Don’t get me wrong, I was definitely sweating by the end, but it was the consciousness and the role of my mind that helped me execute certain poses. By channeling all my focus on specific body parts or movements, my surroundings disappeared and I was entirely consumed with my mind and body working together in the present.
To be honest, I don’t know if I sound like a complete phoney or like someone who has no idea what their talking about (which is most likely true seeing as I actually have no idea what I’m talking about) but out of all my creative endeavours so far, yoga is the one that has left me feeling the most inspired and accomplished. I am so, so happy that Jess wanted to be a part of this quest, and will end off this post with her lovely words of wisdom:
“Sometimes people’s quests are to be able to be exactly where they are.”