Life Doesn't Fit in a File Folder

Why Did I Stop Doing Yoga?

A gorgeous day to do yoga outdoor. (I’m in the front row in the green yoga pants.)

I used to practice yoga, but when I started teaching again — I stopped.

I was too busy. I had papers to grade. I had lessons to plan.

Blah blah blah.

Recently, I found my yoga mat and attended an outdoor yoga session.

It felt good for a hundred reasons.

But especially because I did feel a mind-body connection that I haven’t felt in a long time.

I’ve been running on auto-pilot for a while now, planning my son’s bar mitzvah, schlepping to and from fencing lessons, to and from religious school, to and from meetings about things that feel important but really aren’t.

Going through the poses made me slow down and focus on my hands, my hips, my breath.

At one point, I started weeping and I curled up in a ball and just let it come out.

I didn’t even know I had all that sadness trapped inside.

The instructor encouraged me to just be with it, so I allowed myself to cry. In public. I wasn’t exactly quiet. But I wasn’t embarrassed either.

Later, I felt lighter. Ad I decided I’m going to try to continue my yoga – even if it means practicing alone at home to a DVD.

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50 thoughts on “Why Did I Stop Doing Yoga?

  1. I adore to run. I’ve liked it since I was a toddler. I don’t like to run TOO crazy far (I ran a half-marathon once and that was way too long), but I love the feeling of wind in my hair, pavement slapping my feet, land rushing by (well, not exactly rushing…I’m not that fast). The role it plays in my life is one of stress relief, of “getting out,” and I get to see a beautiful sunset every time I go out. So, exercise means fun, freedom, beauty.
    I just checked out HotDog yogas products. Awesome!!

  2. I struggle with making the time to exercise, but when I do, I always feel better. I just started going to hot yoga and LOVE it. Finally a place in Cleveland where I can be warm!

  3. Certainly exercise has stopped becoming helpful or meaningful. Like exercising my right to vote. Doesn’t change anything. And I don’t feel better when I do it. More despair sets in.

  4. When I was a fine, young thing, I exercised without even knowing it. I danced (ballet barre! No poles, of course!) and ran, cheered, and swam. If you had asked 15-year-old me how I got a six-pack I would have probably giggled and been all “Oh, um. I’m just hot like that like, um, naturally”. I also probably would’ve flipped my ponytail and you probably definitely would’ve wanted to kick my tightly toned ass. Then I got older and busier and overweight-ier, and exercise seemed like punishment. I had to force myself to move and it always involved dry-heaving. Just recently I felt fit enough to actually run for fun. So, now- with my saggy mom-pooch/ Bubba Keg and a smile- I exercise for time alone, for calm, for the priceless feeling that I am treating myself in the best kind of way.

  5. Exercising makes me proud that I am doing something for me, and, doing something for my family. When I run I feel better about myself and that influences everything I do in a good way.

  6. haha! I love the ‘win extra entries by uploading yourself doing a Yoga pose to your FB page’! I also love your green yoga pants 🙂

    I was getting back into the Pilates (at home) groove for a while, but I’ve been slacking because of things that ‘seem important but aren’t really’ (love that line)! I do walk the dog 2 miles every day, in a very hilly neighborhood, and have been trying to step it up with some jogging thrown in there! It’s definitely important for my mental and physical well-being -and Uncle Jesse!- to get outside and walk at least 5 times a week. And pretty soon I get to add swimming to the mix – huzzah!

    1. Jules: You should walk Uncle Jessie up hills in both directions. In the snow.

      By the way, those were not yoga pants. Those were pajamas. I had no idea the event was going to be so big. I also had no idea that my friend was going to put me in the front row. 😉

  7. I’m hoping to find my way back to yoga in June. A nearby studio is offering free yoga to teachers for the month. It’s hot yoga, something I haven’t done much of.

    In Lent, I walked for at least 20 min per day alone, regardless of weather. I miss that and would love to do that again…

    1. Hot yoga is hawt. IYKWIM.

      I don’t know how you’ll feel about there up there in Canada, eh? WEll, the sled dogs will be right outside. 😉 If you liked walking alone during Lent, something tells me, you’ll like yoga.

  8. Exercise is firstly a way for me to stay healthy, but I have found that its becoming more and more a source of enjoyment, peace, and productivity. I especially love jogging and yoga.

  9. My metabolism is too low to measure. If I didn’t get up and walk in the mornings, it would be zero (but my weight wouldn’t). It’s also a great time for a meeting with God. He’s been walking with His people ever since Adam.

    Later in the day, my exercise basically consists of getting our of a chair now and then to head for the kitchen or bathroom. Guess I’m not on your wavelength with this.

  10. Excercise is my sanity! Swimming especially, as I did some much of it growing up I can do it without thinking and when I was pregnant it made my hips less sore so I could walk the next day. Now going for a walk is bubba’s magical stop crying button so happens every day… even when its raining.

    1. I love to swim. I wish it were nicer here because I can only seem to bring myself to do it when it is really hot outside. Indoor pools just don’t do it for me. I’m glad that walking make’s Bubba stop crying! Every momma needs a trick! 😉

  11. I have no idea where I would be without working out…especially yoga. I have tried running, completed a half marathon, lifted weights but my heart and soul always returns back to yoga. I take a break from it and I am just not ME. I take out my mat and return to yoga and I am instantly a different person. Life is so much more serene and manageable for me when I do my practices….it makes teaching children much more fulfilling.

    1. Hi! I didn’t realize how much I’d missed it until I went back. I actually cried at the end. I was such an incredible release. I tend to get really out of balance, so it is super important for type A+++ers like me.

    1. I’m with you. “Exercise” does sound like “diet.” Glurg. Not fun sounding words. I love to dance. I’m a dork and will do it anywhere — as people here will attest. Any kind of movement makes me happy, but yoga forces me to shut up. Which is a good thing. 😉

  12. Exercise does not play a big part in my life, though I’d like to start yoga. I am disabled and not able to do most exercises, but I think through yoga I can get some movement back into my life again. 🙂

    1. There are a lot of different exercises that people with different abilities can do with yoga. For example, I have a back injury. I can’t twist left, so I have other things that I do while evryone is doing that. It’s very forgiving. ANd no one looks at you funny if you aren’t doing the same thing. Everyone kind of gets that you are there to be the best you that you can be. I hope you do start up again. 😉

  13. It’s taken awhile, but I’m finally in the habit of exercising. I walk and use the elliptical every other day. I also love yoga. I’ve been practicing for years now. I try to do some at least on the days I don’t do exercise. Sometimes just a few simple stretches and deep breathing are all I need to slow down and center myself.

    1. Myabe we should do a combined post on yoga. Like about how we fall down on certain poses. Or how we fall asleep at the end and wake up in a different class. Or about how everyone hates us because we look so hot in our pajamas. I mean yoga pants. You know, somethin’ like that. 😉

  14. Love to hear about that mind-body connection pardner!

    Exercise is a major key to my happiness, mental health and spirituality. Often, the woods and the water I run through or along feels like a chapel, and it is where I do my best thinking and soul-searching (hey I like the word soul lol!). But no adverbs!


    1. El, you are all “run-rabbit-run”! I don’t know how you do it. I need gentle exercise because of my back. I don’t know how you power through the pain, but I admire you for your love of exercise.

  15. Dude! I LOVE THAT BAG!!! On the days that I take yoga in the city I’m there like all day, and I always feel like a damn Sherpa trying to get everything with me that I need. I have like nine bags.

    Exercise for me was always “other” than me, and “out there”, something I could never get to, until I discovered that it made me less crazy. Merely appealing to my vanity was not enough, but the fact that it quiets the voices in my head makes it irresistible.

  16. I’ve never tried yoga, but I exercise every other day (life permitting). I actually feel less tired if I exercise. And, of course, the health thing 🙂
    But gym is boring. A few years ago I started running and even finished a half-marathon last year. This year I tried trapeze 🙂

    1. You’ve never tried yoga? You should put it on your to do list. I think you’d love it.

      Meanwhile, you’ve been on a trapeze? Whaat? Have you written about that?! I want to read about that! Net or no net? 😉

  17. The role that exercise plays is that of a nag. I am not good about sticking with exercise for very long…but there Exercise is, nagging away inside my head. Part of my constant internal dialogue.

    I hate you, Exercise.

  18. Exercise is a habit – a recently acquired one, for me. It’s like brushing my teeth, washing my hair and putting on deodorant. I don’t like doing those things. I don’t dislike them, either. They’re what I need to do to keep the machine running smooth and clean, and avoid disgusting the general viewing audience with my grossness.

    I also realize that this answer instead of the “necessary as breathing…transport me to a higher plane” one, will win me no swag. I forgive you.

  19. I’m finally getting into exercise again. I’m all about barre classes. Kind of a yoga/pilates/ballet fusion. Anyway, my friends swear by hot yoga but i can’t deal with all that sweating.

    Glad to hear you’re “finding your center” again. 😉

    1. Where in the world have you found a yoga/pilates/ballet combo pack? Wow! I’d be all over that. Kind of like I’m all over you. IYKWIM. I’m trying to be more fully present which isn’t easy when everything I’m doing for my son’s bar mitzvah is about planning for the future. Oy.

  20. Someone I work with went to a hot yoga class for the “chicks” (he is single)! He ended up loving it and plans to go back. I personally find it easier to jump on a treadmill, elliptical, bicycle or hit the local track (weather permitting). While I loved the 2 yoga classes I’ve taken in my life the thought of another “scheduled” commitment makes me way more stressed out. I make the time to exercise even if at 9 pm but it flexes depending on all else. I would definitely be on blood pressure meds by now if I didn’t make this part of my life.

    1. Hi Ange! I’ve been doing yoga with a DVD for a while, but when I wentr to this event, I realized I probably need to be pushed to the next level. Some of the poses were too easy, and I didn’t know how to adjust them to make them more challenging. But that is the nice thing about yoga: you can do it all by yourself or with a group.

      I’m glad that you are digging the benefits of exercise. I’d like to know you are around for a long time.

  21. Exercise is my sanity.

    I put on my Asics, step outside the door and run run run.

    While I’m running, I’m not attending to anyone else’s needs or wants or desires. I can’t be reached. I am my own sovereign territory.

    My heart pounds, my mind clears, I brainstorm and work out problems and cultivate my best ideas.

    I love exercise. Love.
    (But I’ve never done yoga. Not even once.)

    1. I fell in love with you in your running shorts. I think you’d just ripped them. Or something.

      I can’t believe you’ve never done a yoga class ever. I bet you’d like it, but the schedule thing would be hard to deal with.

      I’m so happy the warm temperatures have returned! I love to get outside and walk quickly. I haven’t found a bra that allows me to really run the way I’d like. Suggestions?

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