Posted by: Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian | December 18, 2010

My yoga journey

Ommmm… there is something so soothing about chanting in unison with a group of people after a great big inhale. And on the exhale, we say ommmm (actually pronounced aum). The act of chanting aum is an affirmation of the divine presence that is the universe and is an approach to initiate yourself as the who pursues the path of sound toward wholeness and higher states of consciousness [yoga journal]. I also read in Brain Wave Vibration by Ilchi Lee (founder of Dahn Yoga) that chanting produces vibrations in our bodies which ultimately calm the mind. I went through a Dahn Yoga phase a while back and the classes are based on a Korean inspired yoga that focuses on body tapping and energy flow. I found the process enlightening but stopped going due to an injury and never went back after hearing stories about the practice being cult-ish.

My yoga journey can best be described as choppy and disconnected, but powerful and serene. Let me explain. I first was introduced to the world of yoga in high school. I went to a few classes here and there and I loved them, but let’s be real, what 16 year old has enough money to pay $150 for a month of yoga? So I bought a yoga DVD starring Rodney Yee and did that at home now and then. It wasn’t until I went away to college that I embarked on my first intense yoga phase: Bikram Yoga. I practiced Bikram Yoga which is hot yoga conducted at 105-110 degrees F. Talk about freaking hot! Beads of sweat would pour off of me every class. But you felt like a new person afterward, cleaned of all your toxins. I was consistent with my practice, attending classes regularly, and I loved it. I felt better than ever. 3 months passed and unfortunately I had to pull the ‘I’m a college student with no money left’ card and stop going.


I kept up with Hatha yoga for a couple years during the school year as BU offered yoga classes that were free to students. I took a weekly class and that satisfied my itch for yoga. My senior year at BU I could no longer keep up with the yoga classes because they didn’t fit with my work and class schedule. So I went searching for my next yoga craze. Enter the cult Dahn Yoga. I stuck with it for several months and then suffered an injury to my foot and stopped yoga practice cold turkey.

My yoga withdrawal played a toll on me physically and mentally. I yearned for 60 minutes where I could concentrate on nothing but moving my body and my breath. I tested the waters once or twice after my injury had seemed to heal but unfortunately any movement like a downward dog where I was inverting my foot hurt like hell. So I listened to my body and gave it more time to heal.

I started going again more regularly last winter when I joined a gym taking hatha and vinyasa based classes. But they didn’t satisfy my yoga itch..it probably had something to do with the fact they were held in a gym next to people pumping iron and led by a fitness instructor, not a zenned out yoga guru (nothing against fitness instructors). The gym membership was fleeting and once again my yoga journey came to a stall.

Que the present. I just entered the real world, started a new job, and now have some funds that I can use toward yoga once again. I tried out Sweat and Soul Yoga last weekend and absolutely loved it! It is the sister studio to Back Bay Yoga conveniently located on BU’s campus close to Allston/Brookline. Not that I live near BU anymore, but it’s nice to return to my old stomping grounds. All of SASY’s (as the studio is cleverly nicknamed) classes are $10 drop-ins except on weekdays at 4pm when they are only $5.

I love SASY’s small space and its deep red walls. I love that the temperature is set to 85 degrees so you’re not uncontrollably sweating but you’re warm enough that your muscles can relax, allowing you to go deeper into your stretches. I love the music of SASY too! They hold hip-hop, rock n pop, and soul train classes. I tried a hip hop yoga class last week and it was so fun! It was a really challenging flow since I’m really only a beginner at yoga even though I’ve been doing it for years. But the music kept me pumped up for sure and helped me to get out of my mind. I did have to laugh to myself though as I’m taking deep breaths in downward dog and Eminem is angrily rapping in the background :). I even love the music they play during their regular vinyasa flow classes and appreciate that I can recognize some of the soothing artists played like Dave and Zero 7.

As you can see I stay faithful to yoga even though things get in the way of our relationship sometimes. I feel like I am in a good yoga state of mind right now where I am really committed to keeping at the practice, improving my strength, and mind-body connection. Down the line I would love to do training to become a yoga instructor and pair that with being a Registered Dietitian.

Are you thinking about trying yoga? You should! Read below for all that yoga can improve.

1. Flexibility

2. Strength

3. Posture

4. Sports performance or endurance

5. Stress

6. Concentration and mood

7. Heart health

8. Back pain, joint pain, and arthritis

I thank you for joining me on my yoga journey. I hope that my journey will continue to grow and I will move deeper into the practice. For those of you thinking of trying yoga or looking for a new form of exercise, I hope I have inspired you to try yoga.

Peace, love, and namaste,

Kara

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Responses

  1. Loved to hear about your “Yoga story”, girl!
    My Mom teaches Yoga, so I’m always interested in personal experiences with it 🙂
    Great job, by the way 🙂

  2. Love the pictures you yoga rockstar! I adore all types of yoga (with the exception of Barbara’s hatha yoga at bU…. )and SASY/all hip hop yoga is beyond great! when i’m back in boston we HAVE to go to a class together
    namaste!


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