I'm Sorry I Laughed In Your Yoga Class

I'm The Girl Who Accidentally Laughed In Your Yoga Class, And I Am Deeply Sorry

Don't pretend like you keep a straight face while doing "happy baby."

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At the start of freshman year, a few friends and I decided to try one of the yoga classes on campus (free for all students!) It soon became a weekly event of relaxation and cheesy mirror selfies, giving us forty-five minutes every Thursday night to crack every joint in our bodies and try to hold our balance as well as the star athlete in the row in front of us.

Rosemary Binny

This was all until the new semester started, and new students with big new year's resolutions began to fill the class. I may not be a yoga pro (I can't even close my eyes in tree pose,) but I do know yoga etiquette. More importantly, I know what is not.

At the first spring class I attended, there was a packed house, and everyone (I do mean everyone) was there. That's fine. It is an amateur event after all. What is not fine is taking an obnoxiously loud deep breath at the beginning of our "quiet time" that makes me laugh sporadically for the rest of the hour-long class.

The Grinch Tries Yoga www.youtube.com

And that was far from the only thing to send me into a silent giggle fit in the sacred "de-stressing zone."

Around five minutes into the class, as I was finally starting to forget about the Darth Vader breath from before, we are all stretching out our shoulders by lying on the floor with our backs twisted. I close my eyes and go to my happy place. Well, I go there for three seconds before I feel someone reach over to hold my hand. I opened my eyes and my friend was staring straight back at me.

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Long story short: don't bring your friends to yoga.

But my friends were not the only problem in the class. All you couples out there, don't work out together. And girlfriends, when your man is getting settled into tree pose, do not push him over. The last thing I need to see in the mirror is your aggressive self bullying your boyfriend during the little bit of peace he can find in a class you forced him to come to in the first place.

And if you are a yoga pro, there is no need to show it off. I don't care if you can make your body look like a pretzel. I am personally satisfied with the frog pose I can hold when we are supposed to be in downward dog. You don't intimidate me, sister!

I know there are probably some of you reading this with no idea what a yoga class is truly like. Let me fill you in on some of the basics.

Throughout the entire class, the instructor is likely to have a Spotify playlist of relaxing tunes. The songs are always a hit, at least enough to lead my friend to have her Shazam app open for the entirety of the class. They really are quite nice. That is if the instructor has listened to the entirety of each song. From the bottom of my heart, I hope none of you ever have to endure the shock that is the trumpet entrance in the deceitfully relaxing "A Kiss to Build a Dream On."

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In all, I would still highly recommend yoga. Each class is begun with the instructor's guidance to "listen to what your body wants" (so no planks for me) and ends with a little nap, called "savasana," which my friends and I have resorted to calling "shavocado" (yes, like the vine.) The playlist makes you feel like you are writing poetry in a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop, and the people make you feel like you are training for the Olympics.

So, yoga, I'm sorry I laughed at you. You truly are a blessing. Let's just blame this one on the snort-breather and call it a day.

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I Tried A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, Here's My Report Back

*Bows head in gratitude* Namaste <3

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I decided to try 30 days of yoga using Yoga with Adriene's daily YouTube tutorials as help. For years I'd wanted to try yoga but had every excuse in the book, namely that I have absolutely no flexibility whatsoever. Seriously, I can't even touch my toes. But I decided to give it a try and the lessons I learned were without limit.

Day 1:

I immediately got discouraged because of how little I was able to do and how uncomfortable every exercise was. But thanks to the instructor on those videos, I forced myself in the next few days to relax a little and stop judging myself so much. She kept saying things like "you're not alone" or "if this hurts, try this instead" which made my own shortcomings a little easier to digest.

Day 7:

I didn't notice much of a change except perpetual soreness. Much to my surprise, your wrists are essential to most yoga practices and are often one of the weakest parts of the body. Still, I did notice that my mindset was changing. Sure, I definitely had moments of anger and frustration that I couldn't see progress as fast as I wanted to, but I began to start to force my brain to appreciate the fact that I was here, I was working out, I was pushing my body, and I wasn't going to let myself get too irritated to stop.

Day 20:

I guess I expected to be at the level of a professional yogi at this point, but nevertheless, I was noticing some changes that made me feel like what I was doing was worth it. I could visibly see a slight increase in the length of stretches I was able to get to, and slowly but surely my balance was beginning to follow suit. I wasn't so sore all the time, and I actually enjoyed pushing my body into uncomfortable positions. As Adriene says, the fire that you feel and the shaking and straining of your muscles just shows how connected you are to your body and even more just shows how dedicated you are to working.

Day 31:

I didn't stop doing yoga after I hit the 30-day mark. In fact, I saw so many benefits (even more mental than physical) in doing yoga so often that I dedicated myself to another 30 days. Coming to the mat every morning and forcing myself to spend time doing what is good for me, even when most of the time I don't feel like it or feel too overwhelmed with other tasks to want to do it, has become critical to maintaining some of my mental health.

My body is often a facet of my life that I tend to ignore. In fact, a lot of the time, I don't treat it very well at all. The worst thing I do to it is judge and critique how it looks when all I should expect of it is to keep me growing and living my best life, and it's certainly doing that. Now when I do a stretch or switch to a new pose, I can begin to thank every joint and every part of my body for putting in the effort that I'm asking it to.

Thirty days of yoga has become a new habit for me, and it has become essential to my meditations and improving my confidence. If you haven't done yoga because of feelings of intimidation, I would highly recommend a similar challenge. If you can find the right guide and the right headspace, you'll have the perfect combination to push yourself to new levels and maybe learn a little bit about your body and mind in the process.

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5 Real Benefits Of Practicing Yoga

Find your inner zen.

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I have always been an advocate for yoga. It's an escape from the everyday stresses of college, work, or just life in general. There are many benefits to practicing yoga, but here's a list of five of them!

1. Flexibility

The more you practice yoga, the more flexible you will become. Stretching your body in new ways will allow it to move in new ways. Watch out because you'll become the next human pretzel!

2. Strength

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Who would've known that the more you practice yoga, the stronger you will become? Building strength is one of the key elements of yoga. Yoga requires your arms, legs, and body as a whole to be pushed to the limit, which in turn makes you even stronger.

3. Mental health

Yoga requires you to create harmony between your body and your mind. Mental health improves tremendously after doing yoga because of this harmony. It helps to reduce stress and improve mental clarity, which all in all improves your mental health.

4. Posture

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Staying on a continuous schedule of yoga can help improve your posture tremendously. You won't have as much back pain, and you'll have more motivation to accomplish more tasks!

5. Abs and obliques

Yes, as crazy as it sounds, you can get abs from doing yoga. Some yoga positions make you work your abs and obliques, which help make your abs look more like the ones above!

To find a place to do yoga, check out gyms and rec centers near you. Also, you can do yoga in your own home! There are many Youtube channels and websites that have yoga tips and tricks, and some that have full-length classes online! Some of my favorites are "Yoga With Adrienne" and "PopSugar Fitness."

Happy yoga-ing!!

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