|One of my favorite poses||source|
I started doing yoga in high school. I would do it randomly once and awhile when I was bored, and I took an evening class with a friend when we were in grade 9 or 10. At that point though, we spent most of the hour long class giggling over how our instructor talked about our breath moving through our muscles (maybe we weren't the most mature participants at that point).
In university, yoga became a life saver for me. Stress and anxiety attacks started taking over my well-being, and I remembered the deep breathing that would end each yoga session. So one day, I bought a simple tape from wal-mart and gave it a try. I could barely do half of the poses at that point, since most of my days were spent sitting in hard desks at school, or behind a desk typing at my part-time job. But within a few weeks, I noticed a drastic improvement. I didn't feel like I was suffocating on the bus on the way to school anymore, and I could deep breathe my way into a good night's sleep for the first time in years.
After university, I stopped practicing as much. I joined a gym and did a lot more cardio and weights, only going to the yoga class offered there once a month or so. Then two years ago, a pinched nerve basically sidelined me from any sort of physical activity. It's still healing (so very very slowly), and I've attempted yoga a few times recently, but my hip just isn't ready.
But I do miss it so. The breathing. The stretching. The pushing your body to move and reach just a little bit further than it did the time before. The elation when you realize that you did not bend that far a week ago, but now your body can do it with ease. The peace of a quiet mind. The calm that comes afterward.