Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Why I Practice Yoga at a Yoga Studio

Why I Practice Yoga at a Yoga Studio

Yoga has become increasing popular in the United States as a form of exercise. There are an abundance of DVDs for a home practice and most fitness centers or gyms offer yoga classes. But for me, I benefit most from practicing at a studio dedicated to yoga as a holistic way of life rather than a workout option.

I was first introduced to yoga at a fitness center in Frederick, Maryland. I was actually surprised at how it challenged me physically. But the fitness center environment was not conducive to learning the other aspects and benefits of practicing yoga. It was not until I relocated to Winchester, Virginia and became a part of the Dharma Studio community that I truly learned to appreciate not just the physical benefits, but also the emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects of my practice.

Learning to embrace the practice fully and integrate the philosophies into my daily life was transformative.  I discovered a new way of being and appreciating each moment, accepting that my journey is an individual one and it is okay to travel my road at my own pace, to accept that where I am is where I am supposed to be, that it is okay to take 6 years to stand on my head, that conquering fear is a process, that taking a break in downward facing dog or child’s pose is not accepting defeat, that self reflection and discovery will sometimes cause unresolved issues to rise to the surface when one least expects it but when the time is right, and that the right yoga studio brings together a community of like minded people who appreciate positive thinking, abundance, gratitude, peace, serenity, and acceptance.

I need the community to engage in a complete practice. I need the community and instructor to encourage me to try new things, to keep going when I’m hot and physically exhausted. I need the collaborative energy of the yogis and yoginis surrounding me to appreciate what is possible. I celebrate the progress of others as well as my own. I do not have the discipline to practice alone. But even if I did, I know that I would gain more from the studio environment. I always leave my practice at Dharma Studio feeling better, exhilarated, more focused on the positive, more attuned to my inner self and the world around me. I am filled with gratitude that the Universe led me to Dharma when I first moved to Winchester.


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