Yes, I’m 46. Yes, I’ve tried it all. Let’s see…there was Aerobics (remember those Jane Fonda VHS tapes? VHS? What’s that?!? LOL), Pilates, Kick-boxing, Ballet/Hip-hop and Belly-dancing (and one pole, too!), Running, Swimming, Speed Walking and finally, Zumba-rumba-sisboombah! Yet, nothing and I mean absolutely nothing compares to my beloved Yoga practice. Why? I’ve mapped out the reasons in a quick cluster-sketch above. But just in case you can’t read my Chiqui-scratch, I’ll spell it out just for you. Here goes…
I LOVE Yoga because
1) It’s calming. It’s peace*full.
Almost all the other exercises I’ve tried had at best, either a bully-like creature upfront or at worse, a downright dirty bootcamp bossypants. Yoga is not only easy to carry, and I mean that literally (how hard is it to get a mat?) and figuratively (it’s easy on the body and mind), you get calm and full of peace while getting healthy.
2) It’s portable.
You can yoga anywhere and everywhere! Speaking of everywhere…oooh, that day I’m able to practice on the beach! Bucket list ko nga…
3) It’s a form of Meditation and Prayer.
Oh, yes, it is. After an intense and fully-present kind of practice, I have this overwhelming sense of love – being loved and having love to share – that I can’t help but go into prayer mode and give it back out into the world. I don’t think any kind of church-going activity can compare. I’m not knocking the halleluiah chorus just yet. It’s just that it can get pretty distracting in a social setting especially if you have to squeeze in between strangers in a cramp room.
4) It stops the monkey mind.
And if you’re like me, constantly thinking and imagining stuff up, planning and strategizing the next project, that’s a very hard mind to work with. In a yoga practice, you’re moving and holding poses that are challenging so your mind goes into the pose and the monkeys get very, very sleepy. Tadah…peace and calm!
5) It helps one become fit and slim/light without getting bulky.
I used to do weights. Nothing wrong with that if your goal is to be buffed. I don’t like buffed. I like lean, flexible, strong yet still appropriately soft (not flabby soft) and curvy. Since you’re working with your own body weight in yoga, the workout progress is faster because it’s matched to your capability. Obviously if one is grossly overweight, that’s a different story.
6) It helps the body and mind have more balance which, in turn, gives one more power and self-discipline.
It all begins in the core muscles. I realize this now. When I don’t engage my core, I easily lose balance. When I calm my mind, set my eyes to a steady spot and hold my belly button steady, I am able to hold my Tree, Dancers’ or Eagle poses better.
7) It brings in the best feelings and ideas into view.
Given all of the above reasons, how can you not fall in love with this practice?
And best of all reasons, it reminds me to B-r-e-a-t-h-e.
Proper deep and cleansing Breaths. Such a sacred yet often forgotten activity.
Like I often say in the beginning of The Chiqui Pineda Show, let’s all take a breath…a ChikaBreath.
See you on the mat, chicos and chikas!
Courage in Creativity,