I’ve been practicing yoga for over a decade now (11 years to be precise). I remember taking my first class, and feeling both excited and terrified. I was the only young (16 yrs) and black person in the class, which at the time didn’t really register with me that much. After the class I felt amazing! despite the pain from the previous class, i found myself on the mat the next day again! and ever since then I never stopped.
Over the course of 11 years I’ve tried different styles and ultimately settled down with power yoga, and Ashtanga (which I don’t do much, but always incorporate in all of my classes). I’ve tried different styles led by many amazing teachers, attended numerous workshop, retreats, festivals, and finally settled down with two amazing studios where I love to practice (shoutout to Pure yoga Ottawa and Rama Lotus). Over the years my practice has evolved, changed and continue to change every day. I’ve dedicated two years to teaching, had and continue to have the honor and pleasure of sharing this practice with many more.
All that to say that I am forever grateful for younger me for being curious and not giving up on this practice. If you’ve never done yoga before, or planning on taking a class, here are few things to remember: If you try a yoga class and you don't like it, don't be deterred – you will not like every style nor every teachers’ style – trust me!. There are thousands of different teachers, studios, and types of yoga to try. If you don’t want your first time to be in a studio, start at home, there are thousands of YouTube videos and online streaming services that you can try (e.g. Alo Moves). If can't afford a membership, try practicing at home with a simple YouTube video, there are probably over a thousands of videos. Try doing yoga at different times of day, as well. I am more of noon/evening person. Some people like doing it first thing in the morning, others prefer doing it late at night before bed. It's really a personal thing, so don't give up just because you took one class and it wasn't the right fit, give it a few tries until something sticks! Most important, when you find your favorite teacher, or studio, don’t stop exploring!
Why I do yoga:
Because of the physical and mental impact it has on me.
Because it connects me closer to myself and to other
Because it makes me feel at ease
Because it calms me down
Because it grounds me
Because it gets me out of my head
Because it lower my stress
Because it let me let go
Because it brings me peace
Because it gives me mental and emotional clarity
Because it makes me strong
Here are links to two studios that I practice at: