By Rachel LaCroix
I walked into an evening yoga session feeling stressed about the day, stressed about school and stressed about life in general. The Senior Citizens Center isn’t exactly the place I thought I would find relief from my stress, but incidentally, I did. The yoga instructor, Pat Jones, was very inviting and lent me a yoga mat so I could join the class.
We tried many different poses to warm up and loosen our muscles. I was a gymnast in high school, so stretching is nothing new to me, but this kind of stretching was different. We weren’t stretching to warm up for a workout like I am used to doing, we were calming our minds and our bodies. It was easier to get into a peaceful frame of mind when I closed my eyes and listened to the soothing music playing overhead. With every stretch of my muscles and with every deep breath, my body felt lighter and I felt freer.
The connection I felt between my body and my mind is hard to explain. Obviously they are connected, but this is a different feeling. My body would move one way and my mind would simultaneously become less bothered by the outside world. It felt like my body was exhaling my worries, and with every pose they seemed further and further away.
Contorting your body in ways that look anything but comfortable shouldn’t be so peaceful, but I was able to find a stillness within myself. I usually laugh at the people that say “Om” and talk about how serene yoga can be, because it has never made sense to me. I have always viewed yoga as a really long stretch that’s too quiet and could have been done in five minutes. After taking a yoga class, I have found that if you calm your mind and open it up to the positive energy yoga can instill in you, then you can come out of it feeling better than when you went in.
As a college student, I struggle with finding a balance in my life. I often feel weighed down by all of the things I need to do, and it can be very overwhelming at times. Obviously, yoga won’t fix all my problems, but for an hour of my life I felt like the rest of the world stood still. As someone that always has something to do or somewhere to be, it was a nice change.