I’ve never been good at sports. In fact, I’ve always been notably bad at sports. So much so that I actually got 0 out of 20 points on a volleyball “skills test” in junior high. I joke about it now, but for an overachiever such as myself, it was a real hit to the self-esteem that no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t be good at something. In my young mind, sports came to equal physical activity; so I thought being physically active was just a competition that I could never win.
Luckily as an adult I’ve discovered that being physically active is not about who can get the ball over the net, or who can run the fastest. It doesn’t need to be a competition at all; instead, it can be about connecting with your body and caring for yourself. I find this especially true of one of my favourite physical activities: yoga.
Yoga is great for a plethora of reasons, but in my experience, the most impactful thing about yoga is its attention to mindfulness. This is a concept that I’ve encountered not only in yoga classes, but also in many of the alternative therapies that I’ve sought over the years. So what is it about this concept of mindfulness that I find so important?
1) It brings me back to myself, and makes me conscious of the fact that I am alive. Because sometimes it’s easy to forget to not go through life as a mindless automaton.
2) It makes me aware of how my body is positioned, and how this both reflects and influences the way I feel. For someone who spends so much time in front of a computer, it’s pretty important to keep my posture as upright and conscious as possible.
3) It makes me more intentional in my choices. And this may be perhaps the most important in terms of my relationship with the world around me. When I am mindful in a situation, I think of my own needs, but also how those needs might affect others.
Here are just a few ways you can get involved in yoga in Halifax:
Halifax Yoga Directory (a few listings of classes/instructors)
Yoga in the Workplace (my yoga of choice)
Moksha Yoga (I’ve heard great things about hot yoga)