Somewhere between Woody Harrelson looking for a better sex life, to heroin addicts in Norway using yoga to re-establish a life based on recovery, to one of the legends of the UFC, George St. Pierre, learning mental focus for the Octagonâall of them have practiced some form of yoga at some time or another.
I’ve come to almost dread telling people, ‘I’m a yoga teacher‘. It elicits two standard responses: Yeah. I’m so not flexible or Yeah, Yoga is good for relaxation.
These two responses are not inherently incorrect, however, it’s about as short in scope as talking to a cook about boiling water. I’ll spare you the rant about my chosen profession being misunderstood. Rather, I come to you as yoga’s great defender ready to give a proper introduction to the greatest help to physical and mental well being out there.
A better sex life, recovery from rock bottom, nine championship belt defensesâyes, yoga. But how?
Before touting its praises, the disclaimer: yoga, like anything, takes an investment of time and effort before reaping any benefits. Don’t act surprised. It’s no different than realizing it’s going to take more than one 5k walk to move that freshman 15 out of the way.
Unlike other systems of movement that have a linear objectiveâhigher, faster, stronger, longerâyoga forces you to balance your imbalances. It’s a three-dimensional process that’s going to mean something different to each person. Maybe that means gaining flexibility, maybe that means strength, or maybe it means granting yourself a little faith and patience.
I’ll spare you the rant about my chosen profession being misunderstood. Rather, I come to you as yoga’s great defender ready to give a proper introduction to the greatest help to physical and mental well being out there.
Yoga needs you, yes YOU! You, the heavy lifter; you, the former ballet dancer; you the couch-potato with zero level of fitness; and with various movements takes you deeper into your skin and has you swim around a bit. A good yoga practice will take you to a place of being comfortably uncomfortable. Along the way, you start to learn your body like never before. You start to appreciate your body in a way like never before. You start to feel a way inside your own skin that you’ve never known before. There’s nothing sexier than that.
This new awareness hooks you, wanting to continue pushing the boundaries of what you’re capable of. From there, a dedication is born that can take a straight-up junkie into a new chapter of health and wellness once considered impossible.
I won’t go so far as to say that a yoga practice will lead someone to one of the most prolific careers in the UFC, but I stand by the assertion that yoga will lead you to a better version of yourself. It starts as a quest for overall physical wellness that pours into the practice of building dedication, learning to stick something out, and then maybe your mind can find a little focus. Who knows how far that focus will carry you. Only you know the answerâbut you have to try.
Co-proprietor of Kaizen Wellness Workroom, Mindy Sisco completed her teacher training in Mysore, India and is registered with the top international yoga association, Yoga Alliance. For class schedules, descriptions, fees and bios, you can check out Kaizen’s website at www.kaizenkorea.com
Photos by Simon Kang and I Write Light