Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I love yoga.

I first learned I loved yoga when Jacob bought me a gym membership when we were dating. I didn't really get into anything else at that time, except for yoga.

I noticed when I did it that I felt calmer and more at peace, which was important to me at that time because I was unhappy with my college major. It's the only athletic activity that I've ever done that combined mind and body so seamlessly.

Today I had my first one-on-one lesson with a personal yoga instructor from India. Yoga was invented in India about 2000 years ago.

It was pretty cool.

"Yoga is not about putting your body in difficult positions" he instructed me in his clipped English. "Yoga is therapy--yoga is therapy. You have heard of diabetes, heart disease, depression? These are what they call in my profession psychosomatic illnesses. When they occur, it is a sign that there is something not right in your life, that there is stress. Yoga helps with that stress."

I learned the five parts of yoga.
1. The mind, to be tamed by meditation
2. Breathing (caused to go awry by emotions such as anger) to be tamed by breathing exercises
3. Body, to be tamed by exercise like yoga positions, swimming, etc
4. Knowledge, to be tamed by the shunning of negative thoughts and the acceptance of positive thoughts
5. When all of these four come together, you achieve happiness.

The yoga instructor told me to keep a pleasant smile on my face as I sat with my hands clasped together and my legs folded. He sang in what was probably Hindi as I slowly stretched out each limb of my body.

Inhale deeply...exhale even more deeply.


His voice was a nondescript hum as I concentrated on my breathing and also not to laugh. I wanted to laugh as I lay there with my eyes closed and was instructed to say in my head,
"I am happy...I am happy...I am happy"
"I love myself...I love myself...I love myself"
"I love my surroundings...I love my surroundings...I love my surroundings"

I think everybody should do yoga.


Al and Laura said...

I wish I was there to learn with you....what a wonderful experience to do Yoga in India!!!

Laura said...

I've done a little yoga, now I think I'll do more.

Jacob and Kalli Hiller said...

It's the best when you have someone there saying those kinds of things. Sometimes I've done yoga at the gym and it really is only twisting your body into weird positions. Which is good for you, but not the point of yoga.

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