When I first started taking yoga classes and workshops I would meet people who had been practicing 5, 10, 15 years. At the time I wondered, "Will I still be practicing in 10 years?" I really thought I would, but then I started thinking to myself, "It would be kind of cool to have been practicing for 10 years and be able to say so." Now, when someone asks, "How long have you been practicing yoga?" I respond, "Just over 10 years!" It's actually been 11.
I don't say this from an ego standpoint but rather to inspire others to get started. I was 43 when I started. You can do the math.
Yoga is one of THE best ways to reduce stress. It has calmed me down when I'm agitated and has revved me up when I've felt lethargic. It has given me strength and helped me become flexible. It has helped me maintain a decent weight and kept me feeling really strong. Yoga has taught me to be a thoughtful person, making me more aware of my own thoughts, actions, needs and desires. It's also helped me be kinder and more responsive, less reactive.
It was 10 years ago this month that I began my teacher training program. Since then I've taught thousands of students and classes and continue to share this remarkable practice with others. I am not a guru and I don't subscribe to being a member of any particular lineage of teachers. In fact, I pride myself on having always been my own teacher in a way - careful not to follow any one teacher too closely - and always practicing based on my personal needs, capabilities and limitations.
I have had the good fortune to study with some of the most amazing teachers on the planet right here in Scottsdale, Arizona. I'm still taking classes on a regular basis as I often prefer someone else telling me what to do. One thing is for sure, we don't push ourselves as sometimes needed when practicing alone.
All this is to say that some people take a yoga class here and there and some people take one and get hooked for life. I am one of the latter and have no regrets. Life is sweeter when you engage in a mind/body/spirit exercise and learn to become the best you can be at all times. This is how yoga has helped me.
I am looking forward to the next 10 when I will be 64. I have practiced with folks a lot older than myself and they have inspired me to keep going. They tend to be healthier and happier than those who choose never to start. No matter what your age, give yourself the gift of yoga for less stress, better health and a happier life. Help me celebrate my 10 years by taking advantage of this profound practice. And then let me know how you feel after your first class!
By Lisa Kneller,