Zeelie’s Take on Yoga – Guest Post

Today I present the fourth and final story from my students who took Yoga II over the summer. Zeelie has been my youngest student at the college level of teaching. I have been so proud of how disciplined she is in her yoga and in life decisions. She is a strong woman and I’m proud to have known her at this stage in her life!

Honestly, I don’t really know where to begin. As a kid I did some yoga, but it was never really yoga. At least it wasn’t the yoga that I know now. I had always seen it as something that women do. I always felt that when I got older I was going to wake up at sunrise and do it everyday on my front porch. To me, that’s what it was. It was something that mothers do to stay in shape. I never knew anything about it passed the physical practice.

When I took yoga one last semester, some of my main reasons for taking it were because I needed an elective, and because it would help get me into shape a little bit. I had known that there was going to be a little bit more to it than that, but never thought I would really get into it. But I did. I haven’t picked up the whole lifestyle, and I don’t think that I will, but there are a lot of little things that I have incorporated into my daily life.

One of the biggest things that I do now is different breathing techniques. Going through PT for the Marines, I am constantly battling with myself in my head. But I can remind myself to Just Breathe. Focusing on my breathing, and using different techniques that I learned in yoga one, have helped me to push myself further in PT. It’s taking my mind off of my physical activity, and focusing it and on one small thing.

Yoga has given me more discipline. I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy when I took the class. An easy A, sure, but not physically.  I didn’t expected to be hard, but I did know that I was going to have to push myself a little bit. I ended up having to push myself a lot more mentally than physically. While I knew that I had the physical capabilities of doing a lot of these poses, mentally I battled with being able to hold them.

Meditation, as well as the breathing techniques, has helped me to be able to push myself to hold them longer. That further has helped me in my day-to-day life with getting upset. I have a very short temper, so me learning to discipline myself in one area, has helped and others. I really enjoyed my first actual yoga class, and so I decided to take yoga two.

I wasn’t expecting to jump further into the yoga life, and I didn’t, but the longer and more profound meditation points have helped me realize a lot. Practicing yoga has helped me a lot as an individual. Not only physically, but mentally, and emotionally. I have a memory of one day a few weeks into my first yoga class, we were in the middle of a meditation, and I just started crying. I don’t think that anyone noticed it, but I had just become overwhelmed with emotion. I don’t remember what we were meditating on, or what realization or thought that I had, but I will always remember that moment. I had just become intensely happy.

Since that moment I have had more like it. Driving in my car I will be deep in thought and just become really happy. And I always think back to that moment. I would like to think that I will continue to practice yoga, and I currently do intend to. For me practicing yoga is more mental than it is physical or spiritual or anything else. It is probably the best way for me to de-stress, and to think. Even if at some point in my life I get too busy to find the time to physically practice yoga as often as I would like, I know that I’m definitely going to still take a lot of the principles and ideals into my day-to-day life.  Even if at some point I completely fall out of the physical practice, the personal practice will always stay with me.

Thank You to Amanda for the Think Out Loud Thursday space to tell these stories.

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