Alejandra walked out of her first yoga class. She literally rolled up her mat in the middle the class and walked right now. Ten years later, she’s now a devoted Ashtangi who uses the Primary Series to heal her body after decades of running and manage her stress from being a full time working mom.
Originally, Alejandra was looking to yoga as an easy stretch while training for her first marathon. It was running that would eventually lead her back to the mat with regularity. “For years I beat my body up with running, triathlon and crossfit,” she says. “It was an attempt to’ get in shape’ but somehow, it never came together the way I wanted it to. And then yoga changed all that.”
How? “Yoga strips away all the distractions, all the excuses, all the mind-games we play with ourselves and leaves you with just yourself, and the mat. Teachers guide you to respect your limitations, acknowledge your efforts, your progress, and constantly remind you that your practice is yours alone — it doesn’t matter what anyone else looks like or how bendy they are.”
After years of practice, Alejandra realized she appreciated herself in ways I hadn’t before she starred doing yoga. She wanted to keep that appreciation for her body during pregnancy and maintain it through the exhaustion of first-time motherhood. “While [my daughter] is amazing and fabulous in all ways — motherhood is EXHAUSTING!.” Alejandra took a year off from her yoga practice to adjust to being a mom. When she came back, many of her old thought patterns and judgments were waiting for her. “I would be lying if I said I picked up where I left off. More accurately, I picked up way back at where I started: with the disappointment in my body, the frustration of my limitations, and the judgement of where I am versus where I think I should be.”
However, Alejandra slowly regained her faith in herself and in the yoga practice.
She says, that yoga is now, where she goes to, “(re)connect with my body, and find stillness of mind and spirit.”
“This is where yoga stands apart for me — it doesn’t drain me, it fills me up. I find peace, and joy, and patience with myself and for those around me, and it’s those qualities that I want to share with my husband, my daughter, and all the people around me. Its those qualities that keep me coming back to my mat.”
Join Alejandra in practice. You’ll experience the same faith in the practice that doesn’t drain you: it fills you up!