Why do I practice yoga?
I grew up training in a ballet, jazz and modern dance studio. I was intimately involved with the body. I learned to train my body and my mind to focus on subtle movements of posture, technique, balance and deep stretching and strengthening practices. I gained an awareness of the body and furthermore, an understanding of the importance of regular practice and discipline.
When I was eighteen I attended my first yoga class. I was pleasantly surprised at my adeptness in the poses (so I thought). I could stretch farther than most, hold balance postures longer and was strong. This hooked my young competitive self to the practice. Over time I realized it was not a competition but rather a continual practice of humility. Once I thought I had the poses perfect, there was always a subtlety to fix. There still is, now after 15 years. I guess my competitive nature is still at play but turned inward. The idea that I can continue to progress fulfills my need to be challenged and brings me with a sense of purpose and accomplishment. However, in another way yoga fulfills me. As I age, I notice that if I discontinue my personal practice I become stiff and in pain. Simply put, yoga keeps me healthy.
Sure, there are many ways to stay healthy and fit. I have explored many fitness practices such as Zumba, P90X, Turbo Kick, Pilates, weight training and running. Every one of these fitness practices, while achieving some positive results, have caused an imbalance in my body and led to injury or almost (except Pilates). In my early twenties I gave up my yoga practice and explored these fitness avenues. I became imbalanced - a fitness nut. I counted calories, pre-packed my meals, took supplements (not that these things are wrong). It was my attitude that was imbalanced, rigid, extreme and ultimately not sustainable. I gave up after a couple of years and a few months later I went to a yoga class. The instructor was a young hippie chick talking about chakras. What? I came back day after day, intrigued to learn more about what is beyond the practice of asana (postures). I was pleased to find there is a richness to yoga, a history, a spiritual practice. That is where I define the beginning of my yoga journey - when my mind, body and spirit became united in the practice. I was not just there to find physical fitness but a holistic fitness. This is why I continue to practice yoga. I now practice yoga in all ways. I am mindful, aware of my thoughts, words and actions (try to be). Yoga serves as a reminder. It's a special time that I give to myself every morning to focus, remind and discipline myself.
This is why I practice yoga.
Why do you practice yoga?
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Hi, I am Summer. I consider myself a teacher, a leader and a coach, not because I know anything more than anyone else, but because I love to share what I learn with others. I am a constant student of life and I transmit my lessons to others from my unique perspective. Isn't that what we all do?