This past December I went on a teaching vacation to Mexico where I had the opportunity to teach yoga classes to people who were staying at our hotel. It was during the tourist off-season so I only had a handful of students come to class each day. The typical group consisted of a few couples, where the woman has been practicing yoga and had been trying to convince her partner to give it a try for years. Lucky for the guys they were stuck in paradise with no good reason not to say yes to their partners request to join them.
I love teaching people who are brand new to yoga, for a few reasons. I get to witness transformation either slowly or immediately happen as they reconnect their bodies and minds. I see their tension release as they learn to ease into relaxation. I also love hearing from people who think yoga is just stretching as they realize that it’s a lot more than that. One of my newbies from Canada looked up in class and said, “this is bloody hard!”.
One of the comments I loved the most during my week with these new yoga practitioners was from an outdoor enthusiast and business man from Colorado. After his first class with me he started coming to both my morning and afternoon class. I knew he was hooked when one afternoon he showed up to class without his wife, who had decided to lounge by the pool instead.
As I chatted with he and his wife after class I asked him what it is that he has liked about yoga so far. I was a little surprised that he didn’t say that it helped him relax or that it taught him how to notice or slow his thoughts and mind. Instead he simply said, “it makes me feel good.”
As I sat with that conversation and let it sink in a bit more, I realized how profound that simple comment was. I realized that the further many of us get into our yoga practice the more we talk about how yoga has changed our lives. We talk about using the practice as a tool for spiritual enlightenment and for calming our bodies and minds. Sometimes we forget that we keep coming back to our mats because it just makes us feel good.
Whatever your reason for coming to your mat, see if you can embrace a beginner’s mind and just enjoy how it makes you feel. If you are new to yoga, don’t be intimidated by all the talk around how yoga will change your life. Sometimes we just want to feel better and yoga can help us do that.
Do something today simply for the reason that it makes you feel good! Comment below and share your stories.
Peace & Love,