Oh yeah, it’s not just fancy people trying to find a fancy way to exercise.
So, most of you may have read this post and thought, wow, yoga – what a lame way to exercise.
Oh and all of that ‘zen’ nonsense and seeing from your inner eye? Doesn’t mean anything.
Well, I for sure used to be one of those people. One of the people who went to the gym at 7 am everyday to workout and felt the need to properly sweat to actually feel like I had a decent workout.
And THEN, I joined my very first yoga class.
Lahore has a plethora of super talented ‘yogi’s who practice in yoga and teaching yoga to others. Oh and not just yoga, but a number of types of yoga. Did you know that? That there are a number of types of yoga? There is even a kind of yoga that takes place in 100-degree heat aka, Hot Yoga.
More on that later, but for now, I’ll get back to my first time. I’m not going to lie, I joined yoga because I was sick of the gym and wanted a new way to change up my workout, so I joined Meeral Khan’s yoga classes in Lahore.
The first class was definitely something to get used to. I wasn’t used to the dim lighting and scents in the air. I did find myself giggling under my breath when my instructor told us to close our eyes and stretch our bodies in odd childlike poses but soon into it, once you get into the zone of actually doing the positions, it’s pretty much the nicest rude awakening ever.
The thing about yoga is that more than every physical movement you make, it’s all about the breathing that comes along with it.
Every single stretch comes with a specific type of breathing scale. We legit had almost an entire class focused on how to breathe properly. THAT was crazy to me. I have been breathing my WHOLE life and I had no idea that there was a way to breathe to make sure you have the most effective workout. Also, learning how to breathe (again) is not very easy and actually requires a lot more focus than you would think.
For someone who was used to daily high-intensity workouts, this was pretty much a joke for me at first. Not because I was a super fit athlete (which I was not and still am not), but my energy and attitude towards working out was completely different. And don’t get me wrong, some of the positions you shape your body into are VERY hard. There’s something to be said about being physically strong but being flexible and strong? Oh yeah. You’re basically Super Woman or Man.
I had one class of yoga, and not even exaggerating a little bit, I felt absolutely blissful.
From the beginning of class to the 5-minute meditation, I had truly never had a better workout. Even though I wasn’t sprinting on the treadmill or lifting weights, after just one class, I felt like I had used every muscle in my body and was able to feel a much stronger stretch than I had in any other workout I had done before.
Not to get too technical here, but it’s not just me that feels this kind of change, it’s the human body.
According to research, a study showed that yoga aids in decreasing blood pressure, which in turn can lessen the likeliness of heart attacks and other accompanying heart risks. Apart from this, yoga has the potential to decrease stress, chronic physical pain in particular parts of the body and can even promote sleep quality and WE ALL KNOW how much most of us need better sleep.
And remember how I was talking about the ‘zen nonsense?’ Turns out it wasn’t nonsense after all. I can’t speak for others but after my first class, I felt light, airy, strong and completely calm and it lasted the entire day. I can’t even say I have had a point in life when and where I was able to feel calm and peaceful on demand. I mean, can anybody?! The hour-long class was just enough to convince me of the fact that yoga was one hundred percent for me.
Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, I was unable to continue my classes after taking them for three months. However, the calmness that yoga brought to me was something I could carry into my daily life as well. Whether it was stretching in the mornings or practising my deep breathing in stressful situations, it gave me a lot more than toned muscles. Which was, of course, a plus point.
I really don’t want to come across as some kind of fitness freak or something with the way I am talking about working out because I promise you, I am a gym-obsessed person and I am not a super zen yogi with training from Bali. All I can really tell you is about my experience and how it changed the way I thought about exercising probably for forever.
When you exercise, 90% chance you want to lose weight is to be skinny and look good, right? (No shame, I am including myself in that category.) Well, imagine looking that good and feeling that good at the same time? Yoga changed my life and even though I cringed after writing that, it’s true.
If you’d like to give it a try, I recommend taking a look at some of these YouTube tutorials. No harm in trying if you’re interested!
Have you guys ever tried yoga? Would you ever? Let us know what you think in the comments below! Love you.
Cover photo source: Hürriyet Daily News