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My Relationship With Yoga

Posted Aug 17 2010 12:00am

Yoga is a huge part of my life and it is my prime source of exercise.  I can honestly say that it has changed me for the better, both physically and mentally.  I will explain how this came to be, as my story is a bit more personal and different than others.

I have always been pretty active since high school.  I wasn’t great in sports but I was part of the track and lacrosse team which are both heavy on cardio.  For a girl, I bulk up easily especially on my legs, which was hard for me and my body image as I was your typical self-conscious teenager.  On top of that, my right calf muscles were noticeably bigger than the ones on my left, and all the intense running I was doing was pretty painful on my oddly shaped feet.

You see, I’ve always had bunions on both of my feet, distinctly worse on my right.  If you don’t know what a bunion is, it’s when the bone underneath your big toe bumps out to the side of the inside of your foot.

Found on Google Image

Mine aren’t quite as bad looking as that but they are there. And they are painful.  I can’t wear high heels and they hurt when I run or walk for a very long period of time.

When I was 18, I visited my family in Korea for the summer and my mom took me a to a local chiropractor.  This is when I found out about my imbalance in my body structure.  The chiropractor told me that my entire right leg was a few centimeters shorter than my left (they use Metric there), which contributed greatly to my bunions and the fact that the right side of my body was abnormally stronger than my left.  Apparently, running and heavy workouts can make this imbalance worse which was pretty much what I have been doing prior to this .

After a few agonizing sessions with the chiropractor, during which she stretched out and tried to reshape my bones to balance them out, she explained the benefits of Yoga and suggested I try it.  I signed up with my mom at a nearby gym and the rest is history.

I instantly fell in love with Yoga although it was very difficult at in the beginning.  It was the first time I was able to feel the differences in my body strengths through the postures and poses, and which muscles I needed to stretch out more to even out my body.  It was something I never experienced before in my cardio and running.

When I came back to America and started college in NYC, I took classes nearby at a donation based studio called Yoga to the People for a short time.  Since then, I have been generally keeping up with it, with a few breaks in between caused by interruptions of  typical life changes and happenings.  I can say that today, my body has slimmed down tremendously and is much more in balance than when I walked into that chiropractor’s office 5 years ago.  I still have bunions but they are nowhere near as bad and painful as they used to be, and my calves have also evened out tremendously.  I also noticed that I’m much less tired and have more energy during the day ever since Yoga has been part of my regular workout.

Energetic and happy me :)

I practice yoga these days in my room now, 5-6 times a week.  I get it done in the morning before work with my Rodney Yee’s Power Yoga: Total Body Workout DVD.

I love this DVD.  It’s for intermediate to advanced level yogis and he’s a really good instructor who goes through all the moves at just the right pace for me.  My only wish is that he would wear something a little bigger and less tighter than his spandex speedos but what you gonna do..

And that’s my Yoga story and how it has changed my life for the better.  It’s so important to find a workout that works for you and your body, and I hope everyone can find the best way to incorporate exercise in their lives.  I know from experience that it’ll lead to a happy body and happy mind.  If you are still reading this, thanks for sticking around until the end of this long post!


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