I know it sounds like the stereotypical thing if you live in Los Angeles, but I practice yoga. That does not mean I’m a vegan, hemp loving hippie with dreadlocks (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I started taking some yoga classes a little over ten years ago after being told by a physical therapist that if I wasn’t already having back problems due to my poor posture, I soon would.
I sought out a yoga studio that was somewhere between a gym and the above mentioned hippie style. I just wanted to get my body into better shape. And not only am I now in the best shape of my life physically, I am in my best shape mentally as well. No worries, I’m still the snarky, sarcastic guy I’ve always been, but I do find that I am much calmer in most matters. I’m not perfect, but considering my Sicilian roots, it takes quite a lot more button pushing for my temper to flare.
Fear not, I’m not one of those people who push yoga like a drug, religion or that Netflix show you still haven’t watched. I would recommend it to everybody, but only suggest it to people who seem in dire need or inquire about it.
If you have bad posture, sit at a computer all day or text like your breathe, then yoga is a great way to undo the damage you are certainly causing. If you have any back, neck or other muscle pain, yoga is a possible cure. Of course, I’d talk to your doctor and/or a yoga instructor before beginning a practice if you have any injuries. If you’re stressed to the max, yoga may be the thing to destress you. And if you say you don’t have time for yoga, that means you need it even more.
I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some tips and dispel some myths about yoga. At least what I found from my experience.
Some think it’s just for girls. There’s no doubt there are more women in most of the studios and classes I attend, but there are also a good number of men who practice. And most starting out find it pretty challenging. Not that we’re ever supposed to pay attention to what’s happening on other mats, but I’ve noticed muscle men having difficulties in yoga because it covers a whole other set of muscles they may not be used to using.
This does not mean it’s a great place to “pick up chicks.” Though it is a great place to make new friends, and who knows, love can blossom anywhere, but one should not go with lecherous intentions.
Another thing that keeps people away from yoga is fear that they can’t do the poses, especially hand and head stands. Remember, this is a practice. There are some poses I could do right away, some took me years to learn and others I still can’t do. As long as you work at your pace and breathe, you’re doing yoga.
I personally get upset that handstands are seen as the end all pose in yoga. I’ve seen yogis rush to get to that point, yet have no idea about basic posture. I am one of those who can do handstands some days, but not others. I learned that it’s no big deal. Again, just being there is what’s important.
Yes, it is fun to do all the crazy yoga tricks, or at least try them. It does recapture a sense of youth. I don’t want to say that yoga will change your life, but… it’ll change your life. As you change your life, you might as well change your wardrobe. And of course you want some cool, loose-fitting yoga t-shirts to practice in.
*The divine/light in me, honors/recognizes the divine/light in you