#ruthiliciousYoga || The WHYs of Yoga

I am a Yogi!

Alright, just hold your yoga pants up, my lovelies. It's no big deal.

Up to now, I am still trying to think if I am trying to convince myself or I already believe that I am a Yogi "yogi".

It felt surreal if you ask me.

But believe it or not, it took me a while to get used to that word referring to myself even though I love yoga and practice yoga on a daily basis. And even if I eat, drink, breathe, and sleep yoga on a daily basis, calling myself a yogi is like taking a bitter pill that is hard to swallow. I don't know why but maybe I feel that the word confidence is not in my book just yet.

I have been practicing yoga for over 7 years now and believe it or not [again], I am already a Registered Yoga Teacher. Yes, I'm a Registered Yoga Teacher or RYT as we proudly abbreviate it in the yoga world.

I know it's crazy, isn't it?

Me... a Registered Yoga Teacher? Who would have known?

But yeah, I AM AND... I AM LEGIT!!!

I teach Yoga to real humans like a normal Yoga Teacher with a real lesson plan.  I am also checking and teaching proper alignment and all the crazy stuff like a real Yoga teacher does. And applying everything I learned from my amazing Yoga Teacher - Crystal Gray of the Goddess Yoga Academy.

And you know what is even crazier? I got insurance as well so that makes me legit. It cannot be any more legit than that. LOL

So now I guess, I believe that the word confidence finally found its way in my book a little. And I am warming up with the word YOGI because my yoga students believe I am. So I need to play the part.

With that being said, and after some personal assessment, it's time to share with you the WHYs of Yoga that I found helpful in my fitness journey.

I believe this will resonate with a lot of people who are on the same journey or looking for something along that path.

So WHY yoga?

I could come up with a lot of reasons but I have only 5 real personal experiences that made me embrace the practice with all my heart.

So here we go.

1. It feels good.

My journey as a Yogi is not that hard mainly because the first time I went down on my mat, I already felt good about it. However, lacking self-confidence is probably the reason why it took me a long time to really toy on the idea of me being a Yogi. For me, I was just looking for a safe place to be after a long day at work or to avoid a toxic situation in the homefront.

So regardless of how my day went, once I roll my mat out and get into a downward dog, I'm in my happy place. Little did I know, I made that decision for myself. That I am there to do something for myself. And that I know I will feel better after.

All the stretches and the twists and the forward folds my yoga teacher cued during the practice gave me the sensation my body needs after a hard day at work and the relief my soul needed to calm my mind and misery.

2. It keeps me out of trouble.

Having a relationship with myself is the best thing that yoga taught me. Yoga did not only help me but saved a lot of people in my life from my inner bitch. LOL 

Kidding aside, yoga saved me from my own demons. I didn't realize I was suffering from emotional depression for a long time. I thought I was happy and doing okay but I felt empty inside for the longest time. It was hard to believe that I was in denial for so long until I tried yoga.

Yoga did not cure my depression. I want to make it clear. Yoga is not a cure for depression. It is a tool that helped me deal with depression. It helped me manage it and saved me from hurting myself or worse others.

3. It makes me happy.

Happiness has different meanings for different people. For me, happiness is to be able to calm my body down and my mind of the anxieties I was dealing with. Yoga opened up or unblocked a space in me that I didn't know a had. When I am doing yoga, I am in that space. I am in a good place. 

Suffice it to say, my regular ugly conversations with my inner bitch led me to self-sabotage. For so long I believed every single negative word I told myself. I never thought I was so mean to myself as to others. I was so negative with everything and I was manifesting all those negative energies in my small world.

When I started doing yoga, things started to change. I never know how important breathwork is. Breathworks helped me to be in control of my mind and action. Being mindful of my actions help me navigate my depression. Eventually, I was able to tame my inner bitch and became happy.

4. It helps me accept who I am.

I'm not gonna lie, I was my own bully.

I wasn't aware that I bully myself for a long time. I didn't know that the reason for my low self-esteem is the way I talked to myself. Eventually, I believe all the negative words I said to myself and manifesting them in my body and people see me as such.

How is it so? Blame it to the fact that I don't have a Yogi body that people usually associate yogi with. And maybe my lack of confidence made it even worse. Add that to the fact that I constantly told myself that I am ugly, fat, stupid, worthless, and a lot of negative words that I thought were true.

Then came yoga. Through yoga, I was able to accept my limitations and weaknesses and turned them into possibilities and strengths. Acceptance came a long way but it did come and stay. Through acceptance of all my flaws, people started seeing the real me and they saw beyond the physical me. It was my first breakthrough and one of the many.

5. It makes me shine.

As a beginner in yoga practice, it was intimidating just to roll the mat out, to be honest with you. My brain for some reason would question my intention of going down the mat every time I practice yoga even if I know that I will feel better after.

Standard dictates that the skinny body that looks great in yoga pants and sports bra and that same body that can do a headstand is the real Yogi in the Yoga World. And since there is no way I am skinny or can do a headstand (just yet) I feel that I can't call myself a yogi. I just called myself a yoga wanna-be which I realize doesn't actually matter.

However, despite my odd relationship with my inner bitch I thrived and continued to practice yoga because what I felt after proved to be real and not a made-up story that I believe to be true. I found the courage to shoo my built-in bully away. I found my voice and was able to shut up all the negative talks I had with myself... FOR GOOD!

I learned that - Yoga is the act of surrendering myself to my weaknesses and a safe place where I don't feel being judged or persecuted. For these reasons, I created a community of yogis who are on the same path. A Yoga Community for the non-yogi bodies and closet yogis who are in a love-hate relationship with their own inner bitches.

Fast Forward to the present. I have been teaching yoga classes since September of 2019, all those beliefs I had in mind totally proved to have no value in the Yoga World.

It may be a cliche but life is so short to live it in misery or blame others for that misery. Half the time we ourselves are the co-creators of our misery by allowing it to happen to us. Letting go of the negative energies takes a lot of courage and effort but it's all worth it.

I am a work in progress.

Being an RYT and soon to be RCYT (Registered Children Yoga Teacher) doesn't make me a perfect yogi. It's far from that. I am still in transition and evolving. I need more breakthroughs to be able to break away from the deep-seated trauma I unconsciously set down on me. 

And more importantly, I am still in the process of forgiveness. I need to learn how to forgive myself wholeheartedly for allowing myself to be a victim of my own wrongdoings.

And lastly, I want someday to be able to say with pride that - I am a Yogi!


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