A few weeks ago I posted a blog about this past year and I mentioned that I love yoga. Well, let me be clear: I LOVE yoga. I have practiced yoga on and off for (ahem) 20 years, but I feel madly, passionately, over the moon back in love with yoga this past February, and I hope this love affair never ends. For me, yoga is really the only way that I can get my brain to SHUT UP and I can actually be in the moment. I have learned so many things from yoga, and I fear that I am turning into a bit of a yoga pants wearing, mat toting, 40-something year old cliche. But you know what? I do not care!!!
For me, yoga is like cake. I love cake. I love all cake. I think that if someone offers me cake, even if it is not my favorite, it is rude and poor form not to accept it graciously and then try to devour it with as much grace as I can muster. I feel the same way about yoga. I like it all. I like the really rigorous fast moving flow classes where it looks like I jump in a pool after I am done. That’s my favorite. That is my yellow cake/chocolate icing/rainbow sprinkles kind of yoga. But, I also love gentle yoga, restorative, hip-hop yoga (yes that is a thing). I love the classes that are thick with incense and lots of chanting. I love the classes that have a soundtrack with Beyoncé. I repeat: I love it all. I think that one of the best gifts that I have received from practicing yoga is that I am beginning to release my expectations. I am trying to just be. To allow things to happen instead of trying to manipulate the universe. So, when I go into a new class, I always try to get something out of the experience. Even if it isn’t my favorite cake, I still always enjoy it.
Today I was lucky enough to take a class at the beautiful new studio The Grinning Yogi. Jamie Silverstein, the owner, contacted me a while back and offered to give the team at Urban Waxx some classes. Her studio is right across from Urban Waxx Division! Uhhhh, yes please! Today we went and it was so great! Jamie is a super adorable, laid back lady face with a really unique way of teaching yoga. She made it SO fun. The studio is beautiful and sunny, the playlist was really interesting (a slow, sweet version of “Black Hole Sun” by the Stone Temple Pilots, Bon Iver, and a haunting rendition of “Halo” by my girl Beyoncé to name a few), and her vibe is totally accessible. I actually laughed many times during the class. I understood why it’s named The Grinning Yogi. I felt totally engaged and also totally light. Plus she also an East Coast sense of humor which I totally fall for, and she said things like “You are the sky and everything else is just weather.” Man, that really got me. I loved that.
You know, I think that sometimes people poo-poo yoga because they think it will be too “out there” for them. Or too hippie dippie. Or boring. Or that everyone will be able to twist themselves into crazy poses and they will just be like “Help??” But I don’t think any of those things are true. Yoga is just so good. The benefits of yoga are really amazing. Want to know what some of them are? No? Well, I am going to list them for you anyway!
- You get a long, strong body. All of those planks and chatarangas really tone you up in the most graceful way.
- You will sleep better. Yes, for sure. When my mind won’t shut off at night I go through a few poses and then it’s good night Irene.
- You get more energy. So true. Yoga gives me a serious high afterward.
- Yoga lowers your blood pressure.
- Yoga makes sex better. You heard me. You think that flexibility is only good on the mat?
- Yoga improves your metabolism.
- Better balance. This is an obvious one. Try yoga for a few months and see how much easier it becomes to stand on one leg. Or on your head!
- Yoga is said to help ALL kinds of ailments, from lowering your cholesterol, to lowering your blood sugar levels, to lowering your risk of heart disease…you name it.
- My personal favorite: LOWER MAKES ME CALM. Ok, sorry I screamed just then, but for real, it does. Yoga clears my mind and opens me up like nothing else. One hour on the mat will absolutely change my mood from a mad emoji to the blissed out emoji. Is there one?
Ok, so my yoga PSA is done for now. Go check out Jamie at The Grinning Yogi. You will not regret it. If you do, just do it again. They call it yoga practice for a reason.
Peace & Love