For the LOVE of YOGA FEBRUARY!

 

1555298_10203360592474846_655572214_nWHY DO YOU LOVE YOGA?GiveAway Winner-Feb

What does the practice mean to you? Where did you meet? How did it impact your life? How does it continue to inspire you? 

In celebration of February, we invite you to share your YOGA love story with us. Or just a few simple words, maybe a picture or a poem. We all have a story and some of our yoga experiences  are really meant to share. That is what LOVE is about, the more you give the more you get. That is  YOGA, to connect within and with your community. That is EKAM, meaning ONE with yourself and your world, AS ONE YOGA, ONE LOVE.

1. Like us on facebook:

www.facebook.com/ekamyoga.asone

2. Share your story.

 

BRAVE SOUL PRIZE- Posts before 2/7/14 -(Randomly selected )-10 class gift card

GRAND PRIZE- (selected by the EKAM Team)- 1 year unlimited yoga OR a gift basket with Manduka Pro mat, Yogitoes mat towel, book and candle

2nd PRIZE- (Randomly selected)- 6 months unlimited yoga OR a Manduka Pro mat and Yogitoes mat towel

3rd PRIZE- (Randomly selected) -1 month unlimited yoga OR Manduka Pro Lite mat

For the LOVE OF YOGA- tell us your story!

(Ends 2/28/14- winners announced before 3/5/14)

116 Comments

    1. S

      yoga. an amazing, quiet practice. not realizing how much I wasn’t stretching out my body, I discovered yoga and haven’t looked back since. the deliberate movement and need to roll out my mat daily has changed me inside and out. my first class had me laughing and asleep in savasana, but as the years have gone on, I’ve found a calming silence and an appreciation for slow, calculated movement. thoughtful breaths have helped me muddle through emotional clutter, really focusing on..”whatever does not serve you, let it go.” i have met so many wonderful people and life long friends and am so thankful to be a part of this humble yoga community. although often i fail miserably:), i try everyday to take my yoga devotion off the mat, practicing awareness and honoring all of us as one. It’s truly helped me realize that things are as they should be and everything in our lives is constantly shifting. inspired.grateful. blessed.

  1. Amy Hawk

    I love yoga!! I started doing yoga about 8 years ago, to help my bad back. I still do it a few times a week – it eases my muscles AND my soul, and helps me settle into a more peaceful state of mind. Great stress relief! I hate to admit it, but my yoga mat is about 8 years old and falling apart. I could use a new one!:) Thanks to Whoorl and thanks to EKAM for the fun giveaway!!

  2. Kelly Schmucker

    I have been doing yoga for seven years. I was somewhat interested in it, but really decided to commit when I experienced a lot of pain and health problems. Yoga was one of the only things that soothed my stress and my very out of whack body! After four years of frustration, doctor visits, and a surgery, I was diagnosed with stage iv endometriosis. I still experience a lot of pain and stress with the condition, but diet and lifestyle changes along with yoga help me manage it MUCH better than before. I love yoga and I expect I will regularly practice for the rest of my life. Thanks for this great giveaway! And for getting the word out about the restorative effects of yoga.

  3. Danielle Duffy

    I always thought yoga was a bunch of stretching. I finally decided to try it and boy was I wrong! Not only am I working on my body but my mind even more. I started meditating and am so happy with what yoga has brought into my life. Namaste!

  4. Shawna

    January 2013 I was anxiety-ridden, nervous, jumpy, irritated, medicated, and an all-around bitch. January 28, 2013, I started doing yoga in an attempt to lose weight because I thought that if I were happier with myself I’d be less of a bitch to everyone else. I found that yoga is not just about the exercise, that’s just an added perk. The spirituality of yoga blew me away. The focus on myself, inside and out, has provided me with the power to stop taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills. I’m more serene, more rational, and a wee bit less of a bitch.

  5. Jennifer

    I began practicing yoga in high school-it was a class lead by the basketball coach, and have come back to the mat many times over the years. Most recently my most in-depth practice began two years ago when my bishop, I am a priest, encouraged me to get back to practice as a tool for discernment. I emailed my old favorite teacher who recommended an incredible teacher in my area. I have since done a 100 hr immersion. I practice consistently for sanity, for asana that gives me a physical expression for a spiritual learning, for tears and laughter, and especially the community!

  6. Liz

    I started doing yoga a little over 10 years ago. I instantly loved the peacefulness I felt after class as well as how strong my body became during that time. I fell off the wagon after I had some kids and got ‘busy’ but have recently started working my way back to my practice. I tried the ‘gym’ and other types of exercise, but they didn’t give me the same peace that yoga did. Looking forward to getting back into it.

  7. Lindsey

    I have been practicing Yoga for just two short years. I could list all the cool poses I have learned, all of the neat Sanskrit words I can impress my friends with now, or how on a really good day I can actually shut my mind of now and find a successful meditation at the beginning or end of a class. These are all important I believe they are an integral part of my practice, but the one thing I have learned from Yoga, from my practice and from the amazing teachers I have had is grace. I have learned what it means to have grace, feel grace, and just be gracious. Gracious in my thoughts, intentions, how I treat others, but also in how I treat myself. Thank you Yoga, namaste.

  8. Kelly

    After taking up running I needed an outlet for some pent up tightness in, what seemed to be, every muscle. It’s turned into not just a day off from running but a peaceful place to find myself and rediscover my body and spirit and how well they coincide.
    It’s changed my life!

  9. Laura

    I had sat in on a few yoga classes off and on over the years, but I didn’t pick it up seriously until just over three years ago. I had a baby and found that my body had just fundamentally changed shape. I felt like a stranger inside myself. Add to that the stress of being a new mom, the loneliness of working from home, plus we had moved several states away at the same time. I was just kind of lost. Anxious, depressed, disoriented… I stumbled on a teacher that I adore and a challenging practice, and I’ve just found my own little home there. Three years later, I’m still going twice a week! It’s truly been a lifesaver for me.

  10. Kristy Mathes

    Yoga is one of the few things I do that gives me time to focus on me. I am a resident physician in my second year and while my job is rewarding in countless ways, 80 hour weeks and giving yourself to others is physically mentally and emotionally draining. I would love to be able to do yoga at home

  11. LivLaughEat

    I innately knew I would love yoga before I tried it and the first time I took a class it just felt so right. I got serious about yoga, attending a class weekly in an attempt to make healthier habits and to lose some of the weight I had packed on over a lifetime of bad eating habits. However, it wasn’t until I found my awesome awesome teacher Linea (who teaches at my company gym, how awesome/convenient is that?!) who really pushed me to take my practice to the next level that I really started feeling a difference in my abilities (one of my proudest moments is when I first got up into crow pose). I’m now training for a half marathon and using yoga as cross training. Linea is starting a new advanced class with a focus on inversions/arm balances tomorrow at my company gym and I CANNOT wait I am so excited!

  12. Erin

    I’ve been practicing for just over 12 years now (in and out of studios and home practice) and I started on a whim – a coworker was going through teacher training and invited us to come to his class – and haven’t really stopped. I think what I like most is that it makes me feel strong by pushing me outside of my comfort zone (handstand what?!?).

  13. Kim

    I have been doing more yoga than I ever have since the new year. I love this studio and feel comfortable. I can ready see the mental and physical growth. Thank you ekam!! Can’t wait to see my continued improvement.

  14. Lisa

    I’ve been practicing yoga since I was in middle school, although my regular practice only started a few years ago when I found my current studio. The yoga studio is my place of peace, the one place where I walk in the door and my mind stops. My body and my brain finally work together and I can stop and recharged batteries. I couldn’t imagine living without yoga and I thank you for the chance to win. Namaste.

  15. Ashlee Johnston

    I started doing yoga because it helps my back, but man–it’s so much more than that. It’s so relaxing and I can definitely tell a difference in my attitude and mood on the days I do it vs. the days I don’t. Great giveaway! I live in Nashville, so if I win, I’ll take the gift basket prize!

  16. Tracy

    I started doing yoga for work (really). I had a client that was sponsoring some yoga-related events/programs. But, I fell in love with how I felt after I began practicing. Not just physically, but mentally. Now juggling three kids and my own freelance PR biz, yoga is the only time that I get to focus on me vs. everyone else that needs my attention.

  17. Alison

    I first spotted yoga across a crowded gym at the YMCA after my daughter was born. the two of us would stroll through our small town to meet up with six other moms and their babies and our amazing instructor and stretch and meditate with our wee partners gurgling from the mats in front of us. best soundtrack ever.

    yoga has held my hand through four pregnancies, helped me find my body and my sanity through four post partums. yoga pushed me forward through a major career change, and treated me kindly during a divorce. yoga told me when it was time to pick up and move on (quite literally, spiriting me through the loss of a home and the move to a new nest), and yoga helps me greet the dawn in the morning, or kiss the day goodnight as it ends (sometimes not soon enough!)(but this is what yoga is for, si?)

    yoga has been a kind, restorative friend, who has a truly uncanny knack for adapting to the circumstances. I ❤️ you, yoga.

  18. Susie

    I have been doing yoga and pilates for 3.5 years. I love how centered I feel when I leave a yoga class. I have learned to push through what I thought was my limit on poses. I was struggling with back and neck pain. I am mostly pain free since I started yoga. It has taught me how to slow down and really breath. I can actually enjoy a massage now because I have learned how to relax. Yoga breathing has also helped me when I am feeling anxious. Overall, it is one of the best things I have done for myself. I highly recommend it.

    1. Melanie

      Yoga is the one exercise-type thing I feel GOOD at. It makes me proud to be in my body. Instead of feeling ashamed of myself, when I do yoga I feel strong and capable and just better. I should do it more often than I do!

  19. ChrisB

    I started Yoga in 2005. As an avid runner Yoga is the perfect counter balance to pounding the asphalt and hitting the trails.
    Runners are notoriously tight and Yoga keeps me flexible, stretched, my hips lubricated and builds strength without packing on muscle mass.
    I have tried a few varieties of Yoga but prefer Bikram over all others. My current instructor is the best I have ever had and his Sunday morning class is the highlight of my week!
    Namaste!

  20. Diane R.

    I began doing yoga nearly 15 years ago at the time I just wanted to calm my anxiety. Over the years yoga has given me peace, strength, calm and the ability to let go, breathe and laugh when life throws me a curveball. It is simply the best part of my day.

  21. Vanessa

    I have the kind of brain that never turns off. I am always thinking, which at times, keeps me on my toes and is very helpful. But there are also many times where I simply can’t find peace because it just doesn’t stop. It has caused many sleepless nights and anxiety for me. I started practicing Yoga almost a decade ago, and while I still have my moments, Yoga has really taught me how to focus and turn the noise off. Honestly, I never thought it was possible. My first Yoga class felt spiritual to me, like I was in a clean place, and it’s that feeling that brings me back. After years of practice, I find that the smells and comforts of a class bring me back to a nice calm mindset. I pray during Savasana, and I ALWAYS walk away lighter than when I came in. I leave grateful, and ready to start with a cleaner slate.

  22. Kristen M.

    Yoga, to me, does two powerful things. Yoga makes me feel strong, like I can do more than I think I can do. It makes me feel as though my arms, my legs, my back and my mind are there for me. The other thing yoga does for me is remind me, as a mama, that making time, even when inconvenient, to attend class, is a true dedication to myself. Me. Moi. :)

  23. Emily

    Yoga and I met around three years ago. I went to a small class just for my group of coworkers and felt awkward with my bare feet sticking to the mat. Do I stretch? Do I sit with my eyes closed? To I start “om”ing like they do on TV? I was embarrassed to admit I had never tried it before, but with my tan skinned beach goddess coworker to my right and my other almost professional volley ball player with naturally blonde hair (are you kidding me, you’ve never dyed your hair? did a mermaid kiss your forehead as a baby to bless you with thick golden locks? you’re ridiculous) to my left, I took a deep breath and raised my hand to say that I was new to the practice. Let me say this… I did not fall in love straight away. I didn’t feel stretched, I felt pretzeled. I felt like a newborn deer trying to navigate through this cruel world. But I stuck with the poses and while in shavasana (is that anyone elses favorite pose?) the instructor came around with lavender mist probably from the teet of a seahorse born off the coast of Patagonia and I felt so calm, centered, and whole. I was hooked. I bought Groupon’s for various studios, I went to karma classes, i asked about deals for starving college students. i love yoga now because of that moment when you sneak a peak at yourself in the mirror while in warrior two and think “Oh my goodness, I look like I was born to do this.” I love the fluidity, the ritual, the beads of sweat that eventually become your body’s natural air conditioning system. I love the meaning of Namaste. I love mastering a pose that you have struggled with for so long. I love allowing my body to enter into child’s pose when I cannot yet master a difficult pose. Yoga is ancient, and I am a girl who breathes in history as if I need it to live. That is why i love yoga. It feels like mine, and it is really. My practice is my own.

  24. Kimberly

    Yoga has always intrigued me, but in an always crazy hectic life, when stressed I always resort to what I know…running. But as I hit a turning point in my life (a next phase, if you will) I have found myself looking for some way to find myself again and have been considering yoga (with some inspiration from Sarah aka Whoorl’s journey).

  25. Kirsten

    I love that it is exercise, but not just for the body, and also I don’t get injured when i do yoga (knock on wood). I always feel a huge sense of satisfaction and it helps me breathe.

  26. Jen

    I’ve been taking yoga for some time but it wasn’t until I took a private course with a deaf instructor who was fluent in ASL that I ‘got it.’ For the first time, I felt relaxed and in tuned with myself, mentally and physically, something I so needed after a few stressful years. It was an amazing experience and speaks to the importance of the connection between the instructor and the student. Now I’m re-energized for this practice and am contemplating becoming a yoga instructor myself so the ASL community has more options – and access – when it comes to yoga instructor. Next challenge: finding a training program that is willing to take on a deaf student!

  27. Katie

    Once upon a time, I was way stressed out, which caused me to feel like I couldn’t get a full, complete breath. I remember leaving pranayama one day feeling like one of my lungs had finally opened up! Best feeling ever! Btw, turns out my “stress” was caused by the pill. Ugh!

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  28. Jen C.

    I was just thinking I should give yoga more credit in how I’m coping with treatment for Stage 4 breast cancer. Sometimes I spend half the class in child’s pose trying not to vomit, but at least I’m there, on my mat, breathing, centered. Other days, I feel strong and capable. Yoga helps me feel like if my body can make it through this, I can make it through anything.

  29. Katie

    I took a yoga class last spring for the first time. I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t know what to do and I would embarrass myself. The teacher was so kind and made it a welcoming environment. I instantly fell in love. I finally found a place that I could put my mind on pause. It was equally relaxing and challenging. The best part is that afterwards I always felt truly amazing. This weird feeling of so relaxed that I wanted to take a nap and so positive and light that I was filled with energy. Now yoga is my first stop for self care. I love it and I know I will be doing it for a lifetime.

  30. Taylor DuVall

    I took my first yoga class at a gym when I was 16. I thought it would be a way to get some good stretching in. I did not anticipate the journey it would take me on or the impact it would have on my life for years to come. Yoga has brought me peace in times of upheaval. Yoga has taught me that I am enough, my body is enough. Yoga reminds me that I have blank pages in my life’s book and I get to choose how to write them. I come to my mat and lose the chaos around me – it’s just me, my body, and my thoughts. When a negative thought comes I can acknowledge it and then move on. When I’m holding an intense pose, I can remind myself that I’m stronger than I even know I am. When my day has been long and I’m craving Child’s Pose more than I think I *should* be, I can listen to my body and embrace its need for rest.

  31. kate s.

    I read a quote recently that summed it up for me by Laozi ” if you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future , if you are at peace you are living in the present”
    Since having kids 6+years ago I have really struggled with living in the future (aka severe anxiety ). I have had months (maybe years?)where I feel like I am a prisoner of my thoughts, and yoga has always almost magically presented itself as an answer when I was at my worst. It slowly becomes possible to shut off the thoughts and get to living in the present, which is when I am my truest version of myself for everyone I love. Recently I discovered Ekam and am so grateful and obsessed!! Thank you.xox

  32. Kate

    I’ll admit that yoga and I did not have a love at first sight connection. I tried a couple classes over a few years at the gym or here or there and we never really connected. Down dog was not a resting pose for me — it was strenuous. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing or how any pose should feel. That all changed about 5 years ago when I went to a small studio in San Diego, where I was living at the time. We were asked to set an intention for the class and guided through all the poses. I set my intention and worked through the resting poses, like down dog. I went back the next day and the day after and the day after that until I started to recognize the Sanskrit terms. I realized that while I was practicing my mind was totally calm because there was no way I could keep my balance in the poses without being completely present. Any anxiety, fear or stress in my life disappeared in the studio. I started to understand how my body should feel to be aligned in different poses. Within a few weeks I was able to do poses, like crow and wheel, that initially seemed impossible. I learned how to rest in down dog. More importantly, I experienced joy of setting an intention for my practice, the calm of flowing through asanas and the bliss of savasana. Yoga keeps me grounded, centered and at ONE with the universe. Thank you, yoga, for opening my heart to experience and give more love.

    Namaste.

  33. Caroline

    I thought I was too “Type A” to do yoga. It seemed like an inefficient use of my exercise time because, really, it didn’t help with my cardiovascular endurance so why bother. *Sigh* Yes, this was me in my 20s. But now that I’m SO much older (hey!) and wiser (sure, I’ll take that), I’ve learned to love yoga and what it does for me. I get to ground myself, find balance and strength that transforms my practice and my life. Slowing down, taking time to unwind, stretching out the tension and striving to reach my next yoga goal is a way to focus on my inner self which positively impacts my entire life. While I’d love to be a bendy, strong Gumby that can do any pose that comes my way, it’s actually nice to have a practice I can work on and have achievement come thanks to mindful dedication.

  34. Mina

    I first tried yoga about 10 years ago and it wasn’t a good experience. The class was at my gym. So not only could you hear guys grunting and dropping weights, but it was right after a spinning class. So the floor was covered in pools of sweat and we were barefoot and laying our mats on it. Yuck! And, honestly, looking back, I wasn’t ready for yoga. I wasn’t ready to slow down at just have time for me. Yes I exercised, I was, and still am and avid runner. But running is fast. Yoga was too slow for me. I kept making lists of everything I could be getting done in my head. I always left right before savasana. Last spring I had a major calf strain. Running got put on the back burner. I started looking at other ways to move. Ive read so many time that yoga is great for runners. There was a studio near by so I gave it a shot. It wasn’t love at first sight, but I stuck with it, only going once a week. I looked at it in terms of in jury prevention. This fall I started going twice a week. I’m finally ready for yoga. I’m ready to try (try being the operative word) to quiet my mind for 75 minutes. Physically I feel and look better than ever. The hardest pose for me is still savasana. Physically it can’t get any easier than just laying on your back, I still can’t quiet my mind, but I’m trying. It’s easier to quiet my mind when I’m trying not to face plant while doing crow :-) Throughout the day I find myself “returning to the breath”. I also suffer from chronic insomnia. Once in awhile I’ll just lay in savasana and try to get to that place on my mat where once in awhile I’m able to quiet my mind. I’m hoping that as my practice evolves, that will become a little easier.

  35. Sarah

    I started yoga about 8 months ago- and LOVE it. If you knew me a year ago, I would have told you how boring and unappealing yoga was, but fast forward to some body pain, mild anxiety and doctors who couldn’t really help. I have finally found a solution that helps all areas of my life!

  36. Ris

    I started doing yoga about 2.5 years ago to cope with some hamstring issues. I could not have imagine how much it would change my life, both in terms of the physical (hamstring issues begone!) or the emotional (learning to cope with stress/anxiety/etc). I can’t even remember what life was like before yoga!

  37. Sarah

    I started doing yoga 10+ years ago, going to a class a friend of my mom’s taught. While it was a great base for the basics of yoga, it was also a time for me and my mom to bond, laughing over trying to get into pigeon or crow (I’m sure all the yogis in class just LOVED US.) When I moved away from home a few years later, I had to find a new studio and had just the toughest time doing so, finally finding a studio that was more “athletic” than yoga, but that served its purpose. Five years and a 500 mile move after that, I finally found my yoga home in Northern California. I go every Sunday to “yoga church,” as my class calls ourselves. It was a long road to get here, but I’m glad I tried so many different studios and types of yoga before finally finding what works for me.

  38. Sarah

    We first met in college. Our first time was awkward. I couldn’t touch my toes, my outfit was all wrong, the mat wasn’t mine and images of other people’s sweaty bodies on top the very same mat couldn’t leave my mind for the entire 60 minutes it lasted. Needless to say there was no second date.

    A year later we tried again. We met online on a discount site. It went better, I even came back a handful of times after, but the moans and singing from the others in the room just wasn’t my style and after the eleventh class I found myself shoving my mat in the far corner of my closest. But it was still there, judging me every-time I grabbed my running shoes instead.

    It wasn’t until last year that I found myself in serious need of a eat-pray-love experience, but since I had nothing even remotely similar to a savings account I was out-of-luck. On my way home from work one day, pulling into the garage of my apartment building, we met once again. There I was sitting in my car starring. And there it was all shinny and new with it’s colorful “NOW OPEN” sign and overpriced workout apparel in the window. I drove by quickly hoping it wouldn’t notice me. But I had noticed it. It mocked me each day, with it’s specials and friendly people who always smiled as I walked by with my dog. Damn it.

    So tail between my legs, old mat in hand, I walked back into it’s life. It’s been four months and we are going strong. I mean they know my name…it’s pretty serious.

    So while it did take awhile, we are finally in love. I ended up saying it first, I mean it only felt fair after all the rejection I had put it through. But don’t worry it said it back. I can even touch my toes now.

  39. Katrina

    I tried yoga on a whim one year ago and have been hooked ever since. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but practicing yoga has become such a beautiful outlet in my life. With little ones running around the house all day, it is the one place I feel most at peace. I also deal with constant ringing ears (maybe caused by the little ones??) and I’ve found that I don’t notice the ringing while practicing.

  40. Sarah

    Yoga snuck up on me. I started a semi-regular practice when I first moved to New York for grad school. I walked in arrogantly thinking that it would be kid stuff. I’d been a dancer for over 15 years, I could put my feet behind my head, this stretching stuff would be a piece of cake. Oh how wrong I was. But many sweaty, struggling classes later, I was still coming back to the mat. And I had started to enjoy it.

    Before long and without thinking about it, I noticed myself breathing through moments of frustration and stress. And a few years later, I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program, thinking I knew what this yoga stuff was all about. Asana, breathwork, meditation, got it. Little did I know that yoga doesn’t stop when you roll up your mat. Now it seems like every time I practice, I discover a new corner of yoga that I have yet to explore and experience. To me, yoga is not a domain that you master, it’s a landscape you wander through, stumbling upon new wonders all the time.

    My yoga practice continually changes shape to fit the new form of my life. It evolved with me when I moved to a new city, when I ended a relationship, when I started running. I’m grateful to have this refuge and excited to see how my practice grows with me.

  41. Meagan

    I was always an active kid with a strong, flexible body. A genetic spine disorder took that away from me–it tightened my hamstrings so much that I couldn’t bend forward and reach my knees, let alone my toes. The subsequent surgery corrected the problem and thankfully left me pain-free, but the issues that the disorder had created meant that many of the activities that I previously enjoyed weren’t possible anymore. For many years, I struggled with feeling like I wasn’t in the right body, because the one I was used to was capable of anything, and this new one was so limited by comparison. Three years ago, I decided to commit myself to a 30 day yoga challenge. Yoga was the first activity I had tried in the almost 20 years since my surgery that made me feel good about my body’s capabilities again. With every class I became more flexible and felt stronger and more centered. I still have a little tightness in my hamstrings (and maybe I always will), but I can now reach the floor with ease. The strength, flexibility and confidence that I’ve gained through my yoga and Pilates practice has been more beneficial to my body and my spirit than I can ever express.

  42. Becky Fuller

    I restarted yoga 3 years ago in the midst of a very stressful project at work and with two small children. I was a mess. I found it was the only place where I could be very present (and not crying). It was the only time I forgot. Subsequently, I’ve been diagnosed with depression and am on meds, but yoga very much remains a part of my mental health plan. I broke my toe recently and couldn’t go for a bit…I desperately missed it! I love my local studio, Yoga Trek Center in Oak park, dearly.

  43. Sarah

    I’ve been a yogini for over 20 years and just began a Bikram practice 6 months ago. I love that something I’ve enjoyed for so long can feel new, challenging, and surprising. I joke that Bikram is really the most awesome, awful thing I’ve ever done!

  44. Carrie

    I just started doing some Yoga a few months ago. I really wanted to be more flexible and thought Yoga would be a good way to help me with that. It has been great (and relaxing as well).

  45. natalie

    I have been acquiring my taste for yoga over the past few years, but seriously since Spring of 2013. I struggled with it initially because it lacked the sweaty, red face, breathless factors that I crave from exercise. (Come to find out that all three of those things are completely possible to achieve through yoga.) On any given day, I would choose running, cycling, kick boxing, weight lifting, nothing over yoga. But, because of the tremendous benefits (strength, flexibility, improved athletic performance, injury prevention) I integrated yoga into my regular fitness routine. I started off with short online classes that could be squeezed into my kid’s nap time or short episode of Curious George. Through the disciplined effort, I began to notice and appreciate all that my practice was doing to improve my fitness and inspire my personhood. I began meditating on ideas such as Meta and letting go of judgements and criticisms. I’m working to release my ideas of discomfort and instead accept and lean into sensations that aren’t ideal – both in yoga and in life. I have formed friendships and community around the practice… and frequently find myself in tricky poses after a few glasses of wine with friends. It is so fun to encourage people in their practice as I grow in mine. That camaraderie has been the biggest surprise to me.

  46. Kate

    I started doing yoga at university, because I thought some extra flexibility would be good for me, and it was also a bit ‘trendy’. What I discovered is that it calms my mind and renews my body. Yoga has served me for over a decade now, and seen me through good and bad times, including my current journey recovering from several years of chronic illness. No matter how exhausted or sore my disease makes me, I can roll out my mat and feel safe and calm. Even if I’m only able to do a few sitting poses, yoga still does my body and mind so much good, and I’m grateful every day that I found it.

  47. Alicia

    My yoga journey started in 2000. I was a new mom and the gym I belonged to offered classes. I was a little intimidated but tried it out and immediately loved it! I remember the light-as-air feeling I had as I walked to my car. I wish I could say I practiced consistently since then, but that would be a lie. A few years later my marriage fell apart. It was a struggle with two young daughters and my life in upheaval…making time for yoga classes wasn’t at the top of my list. I kept thinking I would make it happen but my self-esteem was low, finances were tight, and I felt guilty even thinking about spending money on something as self-indulging as yoga. I bought a video and tried practicing at home but that got boring very quickly. Finally, in February 2012, I was unexpectedly paid $180 for a job I did and I told myself that extra money was going to yoga. I joined a small, privately owned studio (Core Studio Pilates and Yoga) in Monroe, NC and haven’t looked back. I now make room in my budget every week for yoga and it’s money well spent. I walk taller, my body thanks me every day, minor neck and back pain is gone, I have more confidence in myself, I’ve started eating healthier as I’ve gotten more in tune with my body’s needs, and I feel so much better…inside and out.

    One pose that always seemed completely out of reach for me was headstand. The studio I go to has a “yoga pose on vacation” photo contest every summer and I was fortunate enough to visit the Grand Canyon in 2013. When planning the trip I was thinking of how much I’d love to have a photo of myself doing headstand at the rim. I told my instructor my wishes, she gave me some tips and extra instruction, I practiced every night until I could do it, and I got my picture! When I look at it now I’m kind of in awe that that picture is really me. The woman who got to take her dream trip (one that I would have told you a few years ago was impossible) and was able to challenge herself and do a pose that seemed totally out of reach.

  48. Ashley

    When I’m actually practicing yoga on a regular basis, I really enjoy it and notice that my body is stronger, more flexible and just overall better for me.

    My favorite yoga memory is the summer of 2011, when I was doing it weekly outside with some of my friends. We had so much fun together and it was just a peacefully time to enjoy the fresh air and yoga together.

    Although, I think I still love hot yoga the best!

  49. Julie

    I love yoga because it is the only place where I can get outside my head and find some peace. I have also recently embraced (FINALLY) the concept that it is a practice (and not a destination) and no longer compare myself to others during class. If only I can do that outside of yoga (working on it!). It is just so wonderfully relaxing and yet invigorating.

  50. Melissa

    I started yoga to help me escape a deep dark depression. After yet another move, 3 kids and a decision to stay home with them came a blanket of unhappiness and I didn’t like it, at all! I saw a doctor and got to yoga, set my intention for each practice that flowed into my day. It is a huge part of my recovery and I enjoy it very much.

  51. RachelD

    I have had my share of angst, guilt, aimlessness, frustration, striving, failing in life. I want things and try to acheive them and often don’t see results. I often feel overwhelmed and frustrated by my goals or lack thereof. I impede my own path too often. And if you can’t tell i tend to be negative and beat my self up about things. But yoga… yoga changes that. It is freeing and empowering in such a strange and wonderful mystical way. It focuses my mind, calms my spirit, strengthens my body, gives me clarity and determination. Makes me feel like anything is possible. I love it. I am addicted to my practice. It started slowly with a class here or there and back then I knew I loved it but I could probably not have articulated why. Now I practice almost daily and just told you why. Even better it builds habit and discipline and self acceptance and forgiveness which were all things I needed and continue to need in my life. So that is why and how yoga is for me.

  52. Sommer

    My Name is Sommer, I am a YOGA ADDICT and the only prescription is MORE YOGA! My yoga journey began about 15 years ago. I was dancing competitively and thought that yoga would increase my flexibility. I started out with Bikram and tried to contort my body into a pretzel-like shapes in hopes that the limberness I developed would carry over into dance. While this may have been true, I also noticed that yoga did the same thing that dance did for me in that it allowed me to be present and forget about all the homework I had to do as a high school student, what colleges I would be applying for in the future, and whether or not I would get asked to prom. I knew there was something drawing me to my mat, something more than my flexibility goals as a teenager. As I got older, I started to get really bad migraines and I didn’t do well in the heat so I switched from Bikram to Vinyasa and it was then that I started to notice even more magic happen! The migraines occurred less frequently, I suddenly became a better friend, a better significant other, I began to have more mental clarity, more compassion, more energy, and a stronger immune system (to name a few). Before long, I realized I wanted to share these gifts with others so I completed my 200 Hour Teacher Training with Ekam’s own, Brynn Rybacek and I am currently teaching corporate yoga and continuing to practice daily and fall in love with all different styles of yoga from Iyengar to Ashtanga! Yoga changes lives!

  53. Alice

    I love yoga for how it makes my body feel. I enjoy how it stretches me out and makes me feel stronger for the days I am doing cross training. I never do yoga for the mental benefits but I now realize I benefit a lot mentally from yoga. The calm of early morning yoga sessions refreshes for a new day and soothes.

  54. Traci

    I admit that I have never taken a yoga class (how? I don’t know!). But my gym just started offering free yoga classes, and I was planning on going to some starting next week! So, the timing would be perfect for this if I did won.

  55. Caitlin

    I’ve been doing yoga on and off since I tagged along with my college roommate to my first class in 2001. Since then, I’ve taken tons of different classes with different styles and different teachers. I’ve started and stopped. I’ve done it regularly. I’ve left it behind, gone back and picked it up again. The one thing that yoga has kept teaching me during the last 13 years (13!) is that it’s not going anywhere. It’s always there. It’s always a constant, always the thing that I can go back to, to root myself, and center, and breathe sigh of relief. It will always be exactly what I need it to be. Athletic or gentle or meditative or all of the above. It’s always there for me.
    Never have I needed this reminder more than the past week. I have been battling some serious health issues the past few years, and it’s triggered my depression & anxiety. At times it has felt like pushing a pile of spaghetti up a hill. Most of the time, in fact. My health issues kept me from working out (or leading any kind of social life, or doing much besides going to work and crawling into bed), and led to comfort eating and weight gain, which made my depression and anxiety worse on top of everything else. I have been slowly getting better, and slowly working back in walking, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, doing squats here and there: small changes to build my stamina back up. I had been telling myself I need to finally try out the new yoga studio that opened near me. I finally worked up the nerve to say it out loud to my husband. He’d never done yoga before, but immediately said he would come with me to help me take that first step. It was a restorative class, and it was just what I needed. Being back on the mat is like riding a bike. I immediately felt better. Better, and like myself again, and grateful. Yoga’s not going anywhere. It’s always there for me to help me figure out what path I’m on, and find the path I need – whatever it might be. And never have I needed it more than I do now. I’ve been to three classes this week, and I am so relieved to have this back!

    (Thanks for this chance. This is my first time at a warm studio, and I’ve been looking at towels!)

  56. Vanessa

    Yoga gives me peace of mind. I am in the middle of changing my lifestyle and trying to overcome an eating disorder. On days when I feel really burnt out and drained, yoga reinvigorates me and makes me proud of how far I’ve come already. I feel strong and balanced after a good yoga session – it fuels me for days and keeps me positive and happy with all of the new decisions I’m making in my life.

  57. Dawn

    I was lucky enough to start practicing yoga while working in Sydney, Australia. Literally while working – we would move the board table out of the way and the small office would do yoga once a week. It was such a treat to have that peaceful, recentering time built into our busy work lives.

  58. chrystal

    When I found out I was pregnant last fall, I decided to try out a yoga class to compliment the cardio exercise I was already doing. I’m hooked!!! I found a studio that offers prenatal yoga (and pilates!) and it has been absolutely wonderful. I haven’t looked forward to a class so much in EVER, and I always leave feeling relaxed and generally wonderful. It has been a great time to connect with my body and baby. I plan to continue even after my baby comes; the studio offers a post-partum class, and after that I will start the more traditional classes.

  59. Brooke

    Yoga is my “me time”. As a mother of three children under the age of six, I am last on the family totem pole. The health benefits, lean muscle mass, and overall sense of calm yoga provides me is imperative. This mama would be CAHrazy (more than I already am) without making time for yoga.

  60. jesse b

    I have actually never tried yoga. I think it would be such a welcome difference from my running and strength training. All of these comments are definitely pushing me that way!

  61. Cyrie

    I have loved yoga for a very long time, but yoga has saved me in so many ways over the past year. I was very depressed about a very bad decision I had made that hurt people. I found out that I had major food allergies and everything I ate caused me so much pain and sickness and I was put on a very strict diet. And, I was diagnosed with cancer. Boo who right?
    My passion is trail running. I live for it and I absolutely love to race! So, I took the bull by the horns and happily had my cancer treatments three times a week, figured out how to eat, worked on making my wrongs right and trained hard. But, it lacked balance, my muscles were always tight and I was having a hard time concentrating and focusing.
    Enter yoga. I go to a class three times a week for one hour. I love power and flow. Those hours are priceless in my crazy week. A time to focus my mind, my breathing and my body. To bring strength and flexibility to my muscles and opening to my sore, tight running hips. I imagine doubt and fear leaving my body when I breath out and light and health entering my body when I breath in. During savasana I sometimes picture myself running on a trail through the trees really fast and the sun is on my face keeping me warm and I am happy.
    Since I started practicing yoga seriously, I have been winning races because my running has improved! It has helped me balance my emotions and my mind and I find it very spiritual as well. My body knows when I miss a class and so does my husband! He says, “you need to go to yoga.” It’s true, I need yoga. I love yoga! Keep practicing and stay positive! Namaste.

  62. Susan

    I emotionally love yoga. I physically love yoga. But I consistently think that I make it without yoga, and therefore it comes in and out of my life. That is, I let yoga in and out of my life, depending on the circumstances. When I have time, the door is wide open for yoga, but when I’m busy or stressed, yoga falls aside.

    Despite my fair-weather allegiance, yoga is always there for me. Now, with a back injury I can’t ignore (or it will lie my right down for 6 weeks), yoga is helping me learn to pick myself up.

    6 months ago I began meditating. I didn’t do it daily, but I did do it consistently. As of January, I have practiced meditation every day. I’m learning to treat my mind gently and calmly…those are the same messages of yoga. Yoga has begun to teach me how to be non-judgmental of what i can and cannot do, and to learn what aches and pains are present. Most importantly, it yoga teaches me to listen to myself.

    Yoga feels like meditation for my body. Completing the routine of the postures helps me connect my body to the ground, my body to myself, and myself to the universe.

    So thanks for always being there, yoga! Meet my other friend, meditation! I know you’ll get along splendidly!

    (PS I didn’t think I’d write a book on a COMMENT! (sheesh!) but yoga is really a new pathway that I am joyous about!)

  63. Quinne Sowell

    As I try to navigate raising four young children and attempt to rediscover who I am independent of them or my husband, I’ve felt so strongly that a regular yoga practice is part of the solution. Like many other commenters, I have anxiety and lots of worries and need help learning to be quiet so I can be a better parent and human. I’m really hoping yoga can help me to appreciate my body better and help me find confidence in my abilities as well as recognize strengths in myself.

  64. Michelle Cassini

    For the LOVE of YOGA ! I cannot imagine my life without yoga. As a curious and rebellious 15 year old, I took my very first yoga class on a bribe from a friend’s mother. I didn’t believe her when she promised me, “Yoga will change your life.” She was right. After that first class, yoga has been an intrinsic part of my life – Now, 30 years later, my yoga practice continues to give me the courage to face the realities of life, the humility to notice all of my blessings and, the strength to feel deeply enough that each time I roll up my mat I am transformed. Yoga is the thread that weaves all of us together and offers us promise!

  65. Debbie

    I’m pretty new to yoga – I started in October – but I love the after-yoga calm feeling and the clarity I get after going. It’s sometimes hard to decide to go, but I’m always glad when I do go!

  66. Debby

    I have practiced Yoga off and on for many years. A few years back I found an instructor who taught me the real meaning of Yoga; it helps your body stay in balance and calms your mind. I have recently started back up with my Yoga practice after moving and suffering a neck injury. I have found a new Yoga home at Ekam. When I am in class I can find myself, be peaceful, thankful and feel my body healing.

  67. Suzanne

    Peace, Balance, Strength, Calm – I’ve always said that I’m not a yoga person. In November I was looking for a studio that offered classes at noon, because that’s my mid-day and when I need caffeine or sweets and I decided that I’d rather have the energy boost of a fitness class. The Ekam (Grit at the time) schedule offered daily classes at noon and I thought finding two to three would suit me. I enjoy way more than two to three of the classes offered. I love the strength that I’m feeling and seeing from Raquel’s Power Sculpt classes, the calm that I feel from Jill, Jaime and Jana’s classes, the balance that I’ve gained from the wide variety of yoga, sculpt and Alysa’s Restoratives class and the peace from the lovely community that I’ve been introduced to at Ekam. From the moment that I walked through the door I have felt at home at Ekam. I love my Ekam time on so many levels. I no longer say that I am not a yoga person. I don’t think this is what you were looking for, but I had to share … Namaste

  68. Joe

    I first found yoga as part of a DVD fitness program. I really hated it. During the Fall Equinox of 2011, I took part in a 108 Sun Salutations class. That particular practice broke me down physically and began to open me up spiritually. At that point in my life, I had not seen or spoken to my mom for over 18 months. We had a falling out and we are both incredibly stubborn. What I now know as my ego prevented me from reaching out to my mom all of those months, even though she lived just miles away. After the 108 sun salutations, I remember thinking “I haven’t talked to mom in a long time, that’s weird.” So I simply picked up my phone and called her. She didn’t answer, so I drove to her house. I spent the evening reconnecting with her. My youngest Nathan was 5 at that time and I realized that his grandmother never saw him as a 4 year old, which was wrong and made me sad. The following weekend, my mom came over to my place to see her grandchildren for the first time in nearly 2 years.

    Driving home from my mom’s house late that evening, I realized that yoga was way more than moving around on a mat. Yoga allowed me to connect with my truest self so that I can really “show up” in my life. I’ve learned that my true self is already here, and connecting with my truest self simply means disconnecting with my ego. I observe that the ego is there, but through my yoga practice, I try to not give the ego any power.

    I’ve named my ego Jack, short for Jack-ass! I now realize that for those few hours that evening after the 108 Sun Salutations, I had no ego. There was no right/wrong, no you/me, no separateness, no fear; just love and oneness. Nothing was preventing me from expressing my true self, and my true self wanted to see my mom. The battle with our ego is one of the toughest battles that we face in life. Each time that I get on the mat, I feel that Jack gets a little weaker and Joe gets a little stronger. Lol! I love you YOGA! And my mom loves you too!

  69. Suzanne

    Yoga and I found each other when I was in college. I took it for college credit and it surprised me that my body could move so gracefully and efficiently- and that we could all be moving so wonderfully and gracefully together on our mats! The teacher opened my heart at the end with savasanas and namastes and I felt so welcomed and loved. Through recovering from running-related body stress, through prenatal yoga to equip me to deliver my babies, through surreptitious 6am sessions before work to de-stress before a long day while my babies slept, yoga was a companion. But I took it for granted until the sadness of my divorce literally knocked the air out of my lungs. I needed to be in a space where I could breathe wholly, where I felt loved and welcomed again. On top of that, I was fighting decades-old body acceptance issues. And so now I return to yoga to learn to accept myself as I am, to fuse all the broken pieces back together, to feel welcomed and loved again. It’s really the only place I’ve been where I feel part of everything while simultaneously being deep within myself.

  70. Debbie

    I love yoga because it promotes inner peace and outer harmony. Imagine. Meditating instead of arguing, warrior poses instead of fighting. People treating the Earth and each other with respect and gratitude. Namaste.

  71. Mary Goodell

    Started yoga to rehab a knee injury and got hooked. In 2012, I set a goal of getting a yoga ceriification and teaching a class. By the end of the year I completed both the 200 and most of the 300 and taught 30 classes. In 2013, I taught my own class as a graduate instructor at YogaWorks. I continue to practice daily, and listen to my body to its needs while helping others find the same in theirs.

  72. Lynzi

    I love yoga!
    My love story with yoga began almost one year ago. February 24th 2013 to be exact. . I had done a little bit of yoga sprinkled into my fitness routines for years but nothing consistent or intentional. Last year began with a strong conviction towards being present. My husband and our 3 kids had been living in Australia for nearly two years and were nearing the end of that season, knowing we were moving back to California in April. I knew this season would come with lots of change, emotion, the potential for fear, and the temptation to just hold on and survive until we were settled again. In February my husband was to be away on the Gold Coast for about 3 weeks and when he returned to our home in Torquay, (gorgeous beach town an hour outside of Melbourne,) it would be time to move. I have never done well mentally with him gone and tend to be anxious and a bit manic, not sleeping well. I wanted to do this time well and decided the “being present” focus of yoga would help me to excel during this time. I made a couple goals for my 3 weeks of his time away. One was that I wanted to do yoga one hour per day while he was away. It was an incredibly transformative time and the start of something for me.
    My family has had a blast this past year and yoga has played a huge role of helping me stay present and enjoy the ride, rather than choosing fear or trying to escape when the future has felt uncertain. Nearly one year from when I began I have done yoga nearly every day. It doesn’t feel like a discipline or obsession. My body feels so good and my mind feels so present and peaceful. I have learned and continue to learn so much about myself watching my shit come up and not responding the same way I always have. I have let go of so many things that used to bind me and I have also had so much fun learning to do things I never thought my body could do.
    This strong conviction to stay present and intentional practice of staying present is amazing! When I am present I feel so thankful for everything in my life. When I am present I have no fear. When I am present I know exactly what is important right now and nothing else matters. When I am present I make healthy choices be it in attitude, food, and perspective. When I am present I am highly aware of God’s love for me and presence with me.
    Thank you for providing this platform for me to share my yoga journey this far!
    –Lynzi

  73. Anna

    I started doing yoga when I learned it’s benefits as well as that it can help with injury prevention for my running. It didn’t take me long to fall in love yoga. It helps me calm my mind and focus on the present. I love running but yoga is a close second!

  74. Arturo

    I started practicing yoga the summer after I graduated college. At that point I was not sure what I was doing in my life, and I was starting to experience what real stress feels like, so I decided to give yoga a try. I was quickly in love with yoga after my first week of consistent practice. Yoga helps me so much. This practice keeps me grounded, physically agile, and in the moment.

  75. Katie Newman

    I love yoga because it found me in a cloud forest in Guatemala. It found me when I left everything I knew and dove directly into the unknown, on a wooden platform among strangers, a misty mysterious space. Chakra by chakra permeating into my misunderstood neglected body, into undiscovered corners of my soul, forgotten chambers of my heart. When the practice asked me to open my hips I found myself crying, without thought, or feelings, or memory. Not in my narrow identity but more like how the rain falls.

    Yoga became part of me. I found myself practicing in my own silence but among the symphony of the forest.

    Lost and then found in the breath, the careful movement. Drawn closer into the earth, into myself, into all.

    Integration, reconnection, inexplicable bliss.

  76. Alysa

    Sometimes life is too much to process in words…
    Most of my life I coped with my feelings by numbing them, stuffing emotions and not facing any pain. Yet, I didn’t feel any joy either. I was empty inside and existed as a shell of a human being on the outside. I reached a point that my life wasn’t worth living and was given a very real option. To choose to live- I was required to uncover, discover and discard years of unprocessed feelings.
    At times talk therapy was overwhelmingly difficult and I couldn’t bear sitting through another group. Yet I found strength to continue from my yoga practice and learned to trust the process. I was able to quiet my mind, be in my body and truly connect with that part of myself that had been locked away for so long. For the first time I felt a hint of pure joy. Each time I hit my mat I was able to dive a little deeper, accept a little more and be honest about the connection within myself and the community around me. That connection is yoga. That yoga is why I am alive, today I love my life and that is WHY I LOVE YOGA-

  77. Laura Ruiz

    I love Yoga because it has not only helped me keep my body in shape, but it has also helped me keep my mind in shape as well. Yoga makes me feel truly connected with my inner self. Whenever I find my body in perfect rhythm my mind catches up as well. It has helped me be thankful to the universe for whatever it presents to me. It has helped me look at others with more love. It has helped me think in a loving way and speak compassionately. It Is an amazing practice and I wish everyone could practice it and feel the joy that I feel and the love that I feel whenever I go to class <3 <3 <3

  78. Steph

    I’ve been a competitive athlete my entire life. Four years ago I had shoulder and knee surgery. Not only was I in physical pain, but also had to deal with the emotional “break-up” from competition. One of the first activities I was able to participate in was yoga. I found myself going to class 4-5 times a week. And saw not only in an improvement in my physical shape but also my mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Yoga taught me to be patient with my body. To listen to it. But also to challenge it.

    In many ways, yoga brought me back to life after my injuries. And I am so thankful for the teachers and classmates that were a part of that journey.

    I look forward to deepening my yoga practice in the years to come and connecting with others along the way.

  79. Marisa

    For me yoga is an absolute necessity. I’m a classic type A, high-strung, anxious person but through yoga I can find a settling of my soul and a peacefulness to the chaos of my mind. I am so glad to have found Ekam and look forward to experiencing the breadth of classes available.

  80. Jenn

    I started practicing yoga for the first time in my life when I was pregnant with my son. I am a very “Type-A, always in my head, worried about everything” sort, and I loved both the physical release and mental clarity that yoga gave me at that precious moment in my life. Just taking the time to pay attention to my breath was a revelation. I belong to a wonderful studio in Massachusetts that funnels their prenatal students into a weekly Mom’s yoga class once the babies are born and you get back on your feet. I’ve been practicing with this extraordinary group of women for more than two years, under a teacher who pushes us, supports us, buoys us up, and heals us. As busy, harried moms, we come together to claim time and space for ourselves, to be present in our bodies and minds, and work towards our own health with intention. We are a true community. Yoga has given my peace, better physcial health (as evidenced by my physical yesterday where my doctor gushed about my labs and overall wellness), and a sense of power over my worries and stresses that I have never felt before. I love it.

  81. Stacey

    Yoga is Peace

    Breathe in. Quietly envision your life in that moment.
    Breathe out. In your mind’s eye, you see yourself as you want to be.
    Breathe in. You collect all of your negativity into the air.
    Breathe out. The fear and angst disappear and are replaced.
    Replaced by peace. Replaced by love. Replaced by belief in yourself.

    To me, yoga is a rare chance during the week when I can let go of all of my responsibilities as a busy new working mom to concentrate on myself. This “me” time is not selfish, but is self-reassuring and restorative.

  82. Hilary Shepard

    I never liked doing yoga. As a frenetic person with a mercurial soul and a crazy brain that I couldn’t quiet- Yoga was just not for me. I would get dragged to a class by some well meaning yoga zealot- friend who was sure that I just hadn’t find the right teacher, and sure enough, one sun salutation in, I’d be thinking- C’mon already! I have one hour to get a workout in! Let’s do some butt lifting excersises! Uchh! I don’t want to do that damn Warrior one again!! Sit ups please ! What’s with the breathing?!! I’d leave frustrated and totally bewildered by the glowing women around me! Namaste my ass!!! Then, my world crumbled as I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was extremely proactive in my treatment and read everything I could on how to beat it. There were so many different alternatives to the usual chemo radiation route, from juicing to a special diet and assorted therapies. Everyone had their own journey. But there was only one thing every cancer survivor that I admired had in common and agreed on- Yoga was the one thing that got them through. Yoga. So as I went through my grueling treatments and surgeries I started to try a Yoga again. I had to start slowly- and that was a gift. Yoga began to help me quiet my mind, live in the moment and best of all as I was able to do more and more poses with my poor chopped up body, it helped me love my body again. Now I am in remission and I look forward to my Yoga practice every day. Everything I loathed about Yoga is what helps me to heal and stay strong, grounded and focused. And I love it. Now I say Namaste, and I mean it.

  83. Alyssa Paine

    To me, the practice of yoga is poetic and calming. I am able to express myself through stanza and rhyme. Yoga is more than just a workout for me however, it becomes a way of life, a way to live, to breathe, and be healthy. Every time class rolls around, I cannot help but get excited, it has become the best part of my day. And each and every time my practice grows, I feel my soul expanding.

    Scattered, Stress, Anxiety.
    Stale feelings, day-to-day.

    Need, Want, Yearn for…
    Zen, and peace of mind.

    Clock strikes.
    FINALLY, the absolute time.

    Microfiber mat exposed,
    caresses wooden grain.

    Ohhh…the brush of smooth velvet,
    rubbing fingers to toes.

    Fire builds,
    breath to movement.

    Incandescent Soul,
    calmed through and through.

  84. Sarah

    I started practicing yoga in law school. I was a year into my marriage and just beginning my degree. It was the happiest and healthiest that I’ve ever felt. It became harder to go after my first son was born, and even harder when little boy #2 came along. My little girl (my third child, and quite likely my last) is three weeks old today. She is perfect. My sons are lovely. And yet at certain moments, I’M LOSING MY MIND! I strongly believe–in large part thanks to the awesome comments above!–that despite my change in circumstances, I can get back to that happy, healthy place I was in as a young grad student. I think yoga can get me there.

  85. Shireen

    Yoga is ultimately reconnecting with the pure love that has been lost underneath the layers of the ego…the divine love that reminds us how to live with truth and purpose. It reminds us that our uniqueness is something to be gracefully encouraged rather than judged or labeled as imperfection. There is no perfect pose, no ending, just constant growth on the mat…and when we can carry this philosophy off the mat, we can truly love each other free of the limits created by the ego. Self love leads to pure love. Real yogis who practice yoga off the mat have a certain glow about them, a certain light, a certain air of serenity that has been revealed by removing the constraints that society has created. That yogi luminosity to me represents truth but most importantly LOVE. Everytime I am near someone who radiates that energy in the yoga community, I want to stand near them and breathe the same air that they do because they radiate pure energy. It just makes you feel good inside. <3

  86. Sharon

    I have found something so outstanding and precious at Ekam. The beautiful attention to detail and meticulous description of where each part of your body should be in relation to the others is an invaluable gift of the class instructors. Their rich understanding has deepened my practice and love for yoga. For me, the better I understand what I’m doing and why, the better it feels. It’s a total mind-body connection ~ a blessing that continues to help me heal physically, mentally and spiritually.

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