Does it seem like everyone you know is doing yoga? Well, not everyone, but the numbers are rapidly rising and with good reason. Yoga is a form of exercise that nearly anyone can do, with very little equipment, and it improves strength, balance, flexibility and overall physical and mental well-being.
A newly released study shows that the number of U.S. yoga practitioners has increased to more than 36 million, up from 20.4 million in 2012. That’s one in every nine people. Wow! Most (almost three-fourths) of yoga practitioners are women, but men and older people are trying yoga in increasing numbers.
The 2016 Yoga in America Study, conducted by Ispos Public Affairs on behalf of Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, shows that more than one-third of Americans (80 million people) say they are likely to try yoga for the first time in the next 12 months. That means I’d better get to class early and stake out my space. Mindfulness teaches us to become aware of the present moment. Right now, you are reading this blog post. There might be many reasons you’ve ended up here, but one thing is for certain: we know that you were meant to read this.
Everyone Yoga School is not just an organization that provides yoga teacher trainings. We are an opportunity for you to get more out of your own life experience; to be more aware, more awake, and to participate for fully in your own life. You’re reading this because you are looking for something more. It’s possible that you’re here for one (or more) of the reasons below. If that’s the case welcome home, you’ve found your tribe.
Last week I read, “If it scares you and excites you at the same time, you should probably try it.” I feel it in my bones, that 2017 is the year of exciting and scary adventures. When it comes to yoga , I have always had this fear. Being a teacher and practitioner for almost six years now, you’d think my fears would have disintegrated by now.
There’s always that worry though, what if I’m not training enough, learning enough, researching enough? I’ve always had this resistance to make yoga my everything. To dive and delve into every aspect, and make it my world. I always keep back ups, back up jobs, back up plans, which is great and all, however, this year is going to be different. I am going to put all of my trust and my love into what I value the most in my world (besides family of course); my yoga.
Opportunities will arise in your 2017, just like they are doing for me. It’s up to you if you are going to take the chance. If you don’t try, how will you ever know if you’ll succeed? If you feel there’s a pull, some whispering in your ear telling you what’s missing in your life, you might regret not taking the jump.
I think starting our Beginner Series at Destin Hot Yoga in January is the perfect time. January is all about new beginnings, in all aspects of our lives. Yoga is a great place to start. I left yoga once. About three years ago, I stopped practicing for an entire year. Want to know what happened? My entire world started falling apart, piece by piece. Of course I didn’t realize it at the time, but yoga was my peace. It was where I found my truth in my world.
Along with new beginnings in 2017 come the New Year’s resolutions. Everyone makes a vow, a promise to themselves. Usually this promise is to better themselves in some form or fashion. I do feel that taking care of you first is obviously the most important. What I love most though, is witnessing resolutions for others. Resolutions to help others, to be kinder to others, do something for another living being.
We get so carried up in ourselves, and our daily world, our goals; everything I was reading last year about 2016 resolutions was me. Maybe this year, you do something for someone else. This is why I love Destin Hot Yoga. Along with our beginner’s series or our 30 day challenge coming up, we are offering a community class every week for $5. Want to know why I think this is awesome? Because it is giving back. It is giving to the community, so everyone can experience yoga. So maybe everyone can have the chance of finding their truth, no matter the cost.
A woman came up to me last week in the studio and said, “I realize how much yoga is affecting my life. From work to my kids, I am calmer. Things that used to send me over the edge, now I take a breath and move past it much easier.” To me, this woman is finding her peace. Maybe 2017 is the time to find yours.
Through my asana (posture) and pranayama (breath) practice, that is where I found my deepest meaning. Making my way back to yoga was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. I hope those who are maybe starting their journey with yoga at Destin Hot Yoga, or those taking the beginner series to bring it back to the basics, find the truth like I did. It starts out as just movements to find strength, or find flexibility, but it will creep up on you. For some it might take longer, but it will happen. Yoga will happen to you, and 2017 is the perfect year for it.
I started a mixed-level yoga class at my gym about five years ago, in my mid-50s, when I began to realize that flexibility and balance get more challenging and more important with each passing day. That’s especially true for someone like me who has never been flexible or had good balance. I remember trying a ballet class in my 20s and being shocked that women who were three decades older were so much more flexible than I was.
It only took one yoga class for me to realize that I could use help on all counts strength, flexibility and balance. As my bare feet gripped the back of the mat and my arms extended forward, I was certain my hands would slip or my arms collapse and I’d fall flat on my face in the midst of downward dog.
Or I’d totally lose my balance and fall over during stork or tree pose. I did and still do lose my balance. But I didn’t get hurt, and no one laughed or pointed. I just got back in the pose and tried again.
Since those first classes, I’ve learned a lot about my body, my mind and my yoga practice. I’ve learned that I will never be as flexible or as good at balancing as some people in the class but it doesn’t matter. My instructor (like most good yoga instructors) repeatedly reminds us to focus our thoughts inward on our movement and our breath. She encourages us to find what works for our individual bodies.
Yoga is not competitive, which is one reason I didn’t take to it in my younger, more competitive days. It’s more about getting in tune with your own body and mind. Admittedly, as an extreme extrovert, I have trouble with inward focus. Sometimes, when we’re instructed to lie still and breathe and relax, I totally lose focus and start running through my to-do list. But, I am usually able to return my focus to my breathing. When we’re practicing our poses, it’s even easier for me to stay focused and let go of the outside world.
The Born Teacher
Perhaps you are here because you are a born teacher. You enjoy using your intuitive, innate skills to impart knowledge, and you enjoy watching that proverbial light bulb go off over someone’s head when they have an “aha” moment. You most likely experience joy, happiness, and satisfaction in having created the space for someone to make those discoveries for themselves. And maybe you love the practice of yoga so much, that you want to use your special teaching talents to share your passion for it and all of its benefits. Participating in a yoga teacher training program is simply a natural progression for you.
The Compassionate Helper
Do you feel deeply, and notice the discomfort or unease of others? Do you feel a deep desire to make our world a better place? Becoming a yoga teacher can be a satisfying way to make a difference in the lives of our fellow brothers and sisters.
Maybe you’ve experienced firsthand a significant improvement in your life, thanks to the practice of yoga. You know about the physical, emotional and spiritual benefits that yoga provides – because you have lived it. Often when we have undergone such a change, we become excited to share the experience with others, drawing on our firsthand knowledge of the profound impact yoga can make. You can spread the word and make a difference as a yoga instructor.
The Perennial Student
Are you a life-long student, always wanting to learn more? Perhaps one of the biggest joys in your life is understanding that the thirst for knowledge is never quenched, and appreciating how delicious the process of discovery can be. Especially when it comes to self-discovery.
Many people have had a self-awakening experience on their yoga journey, and this event can leave one with a hunger for more. Understanding life and all of its complexities is a subtle process that, if allowed to unfold, takes place every day, throughout our entire life. If you enjoy this process and have made connections between improvements and discoveries in your life and the progress of your yoga practice, a teacher training program is a great way to enhance your journey.
Truth in the Cliche
“It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” We’ve all heard some variation on this. But as we started out saying, mindfulness teaches us to be present in each moment to find clarity, appreciation and harmony whenever and wherever possible. You are here because you understand how yoga helps us all, on our journey. So whether you’re looking to teach or to simply deepen your own personal yoga practice, enrolling in a teacher training or continuing education class with Everyone Yoga School can be
incredibly rewarding. It is our desire to help you reach your goals, whatever they may be.
Five years into my practice, it’s hard to say what has been the biggest benefit to me. My flexibility and strength are better than when I started. My balance is still shaky literally but hasn’t gotten worse, and at my age, that’s a plus. And, I think my mind is calmer and my stress lower.
The yoga survey says the top five reasons for starting yoga are: flexibility (61 percent), stress relief (56 percent), general fitness (49 percent), improve overall health (49 percent), and physical fitness (44 percent). Those are all terrific reasons and yoga can help with all of them.
The survey also mentions that yoga practitioners are more likely than non-practitioners to be involved in other forms of exercise, such as running, cycling and weight-lifting. The survey doesn’t say why this is true, but I think yoga makes you more attuned to your body and more likely to want to take care of it by living a healthy lifestyle.
Although regular yoga practice at home would improve my skills, I enjoy the community of classes. I’ve made new friends and renewed some old friendships, and I like sharing the experience with people I might otherwise not be around. My classes include people of varied ages and ethnicities, and I don’t think that’s unusual. Survey data shows that 43 percent of practitioners are 30 to 49 years old; 38 percent are 50-plus; and 19 percent are 18 to 29.
As I get older, it may become harder to do some of the more challenging poses, but, thankfully, yoga is adaptable. Classes cater to various levels and special needs. Some of my older friends enjoy chair yoga, where you don’t have to get down on the floor. I’m not there yet, but, if I stay healthy and keep exercising, I may be someday.
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- Anyone? Everyone One Has Doing Yoga