I am a nerdy lady who is most comfortable living in my head and thinking, rather than "doing" with my body. You could say I've been pretty disconnected from my body all these years, unless it's been to stop and think what it looks like…and to alternately praise and criticize myself for that.
That's because I've been a "domesticated person," as I've jokingly called myself.
I'm more content to sit inside in one place with a good book, movie, or a few albums to pass the time than to go out and walk the neighborhood, toil at a gym, or do something else that requires movement and activity (That Doctor Who Classic treasure trove on Amazon isn't going to watch itself, is it?).
My nerd card is fully punched; Velma from Scooby-Doo has been more physical in one of the 30-minute cartoons running from ghouls and ghosts than I've been for much of my adult life.
Awakening through Yoga
That, however, changed as yoga brought more vibrant color to the grayness of my sedentary, inward-focused life. Have you similarly found your way to yoga after emerging from a cocoon of relative inactivity and wondering what's in store? Here are the kinds of in-the-body experiences new yogis can attain.
1. A Chance to Explore Another Part of Yourself
Yoga makes me feel like I've crossed the threshold into another aspect of my life. The magical "zone" that I've always heard athletically inclined people tout is a real, amazing phenomenon. The feeling of my mind and body working together—with nothing else perceived in the moment—is energizing.
2. A Sense of Accomplishment
It's inspiring to inch toward holding a longer, stronger Tree Pose—one that doesn't have me shaking and swaying like a sapling in gale-force winds.
I enjoy how graceful I feel when I string together more seconds of poise in Warrior III or Dancer's Pose. It's interesting to feel my arms and legs shake as I attempt a longer Plank, and it's fantastic to feel strength in my arms in Downward Dog.
3. An Obvious Mood Boost
Working my way through a class is absolutely mind-clearing and intensely relaxing whether I'm at my local YMCA or in my living room while my cat watches.
True story: after one particularly good class, I floated to the car and had to sit there for about ten minutes before feeling grounded again. And then I learned that driving home after yoga class while listening to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" is not a wise idea.
4. A New Way to Nurture Yourself
It's necessary to consider your form when holding a yoga pose. One must learn the right way to use the hands in Downward Dog and other inverted poses and consider if the pose is a comfortable challenge or if it's pushing too hard and flirting with injury.
Yoga has gotten me to focus on whether I'm treating my body right as I silence my mind. ~Danielle Campbell-Angah
5. An Open Window to Your Personal Power
The physicality of yoga puts me in touch with my potential and my power in a way that reading or daydreaming never did. Previously, my favorite activities had me in a state of all mental "talk," with no action. But on the mat and in real time, that power is literally right at my fingertips or in the soles of my feet.
A desire to take up yoga again, after having taken a class about ten years ago, has inspired me to explore the abilities of this body that I've inhabited for close to forty years. I've come to realize that, in addition to relaxation and providing an open door to the Divine, yoga gives me a confidence boost.
Equally important is that when I'm fully engaged in yoga, I give myself an express ticket to the "Now" that we all so desperately want to live in—a place that may be foreign to those of us who have not previously felt a strong connection to our bodies.