Brigitte Meinders started practicing yoga almost ten years ago in New York City and has fallen head over heels for it in the years since.
Passionate about sharing the joys of yoga, healthy food, and living life to the fullest, Brigitte shares her inspirations and experiences on her blog, ShiningSoulYoga.com, and as a contributor on MindBodyGreen. She is excited to complete a Yoga Teacher Training at the end of 2012 and one day be able to share her passion for yoga with as many people as possible!
To an outsider looking into the world of yoga, it may seem like a difficult or intimidating place to venture into, what with all of the flexible people balancing on their hands and twisting into pretzel-like poses. I was definitely that outsider once, and can completely understand having that hesitation. Many years have passed since I took my first foray into yoga, and while these days I do enjoy all the poses and fun ways to use your body through yoga asanas (exercises,) I have learned that the practice of yoga goes so much further than what your body can do on the mat.
The first time I tried yoga at the Equinox I belonged to in Manhattan, it was definitely not love at first sight. I found the poses challenging and awkward, and much preferred more basic and mindless exercises like the elliptical or the abductor machine! It took a few years for me to return to yoga with a different mindset, and this time I chose to stick with it and see what the practice could do for my mind and body. It started with a few classes and a home video I would do a few times a week, and over time developed into a daily practice that I became completely addicted to. I never want to miss a day!
Besides seeing and feeling the visible difference in my strength and flexibility, yoga reached into far corners of my life that I never anticipated it would impact. I was more tuned in to my body and my eating became more mindful and healthy. My inner sense of peace and love expanded and I was better able to control the inevitable bouts of anxiety that would flare up as a young professional in New York City. Yoga was (and still is) a constant source of grounding in my life no matter what else is going on.
The awesome thing about yoga is that there is a type of practice to fit every body, physical ability, mood and desire. On days that I have a ton of energy to burn off, I can do a heart-pounding, sweat inducing, exciting Vinyasa practice that includes all sorts of inversions and arm balances. When I am feeling lethargic and in need of rejuvenation, a good restorative yoga practice can help me re-set my body and mind, to come off of my mat feeling like I just took the most amazing power nap ever. Yoga is also just so much fun!! What other sport lets you do crazy handstands and experiment with different ways to use your body like yoga does? Doing yoga makes me feel, both physically and mentally, like I can fly and reach for the stars.
Later this year I am starting a 200-hour yoga teacher training, and I am beyond excited to dive deeper into the world of yoga and to one day be able to share the gift of yoga with others. I intend on doing yoga asanas for as long as I am physically able, and to hold on to a yogic mindset for the rest of my life. A yoga practice is worth trying out, no matter whom you are and what your abilities may be – the benefits you receive will be life changing.
We look forward to following Brigitte on her journey through yoga training - be sure to check out her blog here
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