I began practicing yoga back in August. I wasn’t looking for much out of it except an alternative form of exercise, something for my “off” days. Like every first-time student I was terrified, yoga can be so intimidating for someone who has never been to a class. My first time, however, was nothing like I had expected. Everyone was friendly, the instructor was warm and inviting, and the poses weren’t too extreme. Even though the class wasn’t as bad as I had expected, I did not like yoga at all. My flexibility was non-existent so every pose was difficult. I did not understand the concept of controlling your breathing, so most of the time I was just exhaling heavily like an exhausted mule when the poses got too hard. Not to mention I had an extreme case of imposter syndrome…you know, when you’re not sure you should be doing something because you don’t fit in with everyone who does it. (I am not actually sure imposter syndrome exists, but I used to have this feeling frequently.) Anyways, yoga sucked but I forced myself to keep practicing.

Over the next three months I would attend two or three classes a week. As time passed I began to feel strong, super in tune with my body, and in control. Not only does yoga strengthen the body but the mind and heart grow as well. In January I began practicing daily. I would rise in the morning looking forward to my practice and on days when I was too busy for it I felt upset, like a chunk of my day went missing. I kept going back to yoga because it made me feel strong and it awakened the fire inside of me. Yes, the fire. The one in your core that stimulates and enlightens the rest of the body and soul. I began to feel alive during, before, and after practice. Yoga went from a form exercise to a personal challenge to myself… it became an activity I grew to be passionate about.

Every day when I step onto the mat I feel the fire over again. My body awakens, my mind clears, and my soul is ablaze. Although it has only been 10 months, I truly feel yoga is what I have been looking for this entire time. In my future, I plan to become a yoga instructor so I can share this feeling with everyone in the world... or at least the yogi’s of the world.

So, my advice for anyone thinking of quitting the new hobby you picked up, don’t stop just yet. Challenge yourself, push yourself to new limits, and climb to the top of your mountain of fears. You just may find what you have been looking for at the top.