Yoga

Searching For My Yoga Home

Hi everyone!  This week is still injury free and I’m loving it!  One thing I’m excited about is my ability to focus on yoga to help me get stronger and get better at stretching.  The MRI scared me a lot, and I think that anything I can do to help my running improve is worth the effort!  So I’m continuing on my quest for a yoga home.  My apartment is too tiny to create a relaxing space to practice, so I’m looking for a studio where I can learn proper alignment and really build a love of yoga.

do yoga be awesome

Today I read this blog post from the lovely Rebecca from Strength and Sunshine, and it really got me thinking about what I want to get out of yoga.  She describes how her yoga is different from everyone else’s yoga, and it’s so true!  In fact, my instructor on Monday night said basically the same thing.  She has us focus on our personal intentions for our practice, and then helps us all reach the poses the best way we can.  She even emphasizes that we’re all made differently and can’t all access poses in the same way and we need to do whatever feels good at this moment.  It was a big deal for me – I really thought I could never be a yogi because I’m not flexible at all and can’t do poses the same way other people can.  Remember how I can’t touch my toes?  That’s kind of a big part of flexibility.  But hearing from an instructor that what I’m doing is okay in the yoga world was so exciting for me!  It really had me thinking about what I want “my yoga” to be like.

With running, I’ve got a clear answer for that:  my running is something I do to relax, recharge, and push myself to reach new challenges.  And I actually want those same three things out of yoga too, which makes it the perfect cross training for me right now!  And luckily I’ve got a few good running homes:  the many trails around Anchorage and the treadmill!

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I’m happy to have found some amazing places to run which support “my running”, but now it’s time for me to do the same thing with yoga.  So far, I’ve gone to 4 places and each one was different.  Some were intense and focused on sweating, others were way too relaxed and meditative to me.  I’m currently in love with this place across the street from me, but I got a $32 Living Social deal on 1 month of unlimited classes at another studio that I need to check out too (because $32 is crazy cheap!).  And then there’s the biggest studio in town, which offers more classes than any other but for a higher price.  So what do I really want to find in one of these studios?

  • Acceptance!  Especially towards non-flexible newbies like me.
  • A variety of classes to suit my changing workout moods
  • A relaxed vibe
  • Lots of stretchy classes where I can utilize what I learned from my doctor
  • Positivity and excitement – especially with instructors
  • Non-judgemental people.  I know I can’t control this and they can join up at any time, but if the vibe is chill they might not stay around long
  • Small classes so I can get the adjustments I probably need
  • Prices that won’t make me drop out!

I know it sounds like a lot, but I know I can find it with so many different options.  In fact, I might have already done so!  For now, I’m going to keep checking out places until I feel like I found my yoga home.  Then I can really get down to learning poses and improving!

Do you have a running home or a yoga home?  How did you find it?  What do you require in a yoga or running home?

16 thoughts on “Searching For My Yoga Home

  1. It’s such an interesting question. As a yoga teacher, I find that I have many yoga “homes” and styles and interests when it comes to yoga. I try to bring all of those together so my students feel like my yoga is perfect for them. When it comes to “studios” that resonate with me the most–I still say Laughing Lotus in NYC. It’s been my favorite for a decade, so I guess that means it stuck! 😉

    You make me think about how I need to improve my online offerings and workshops to better help everyone find their personal yoga homes. HMMMM. Food for thought!!!!!! (Any suggestions!?!?!)

    1. It’s nice you have so many yoga homes! That’s how I feel about running. I feel at home on so many trails. I think you should offer anything you can to newbies! It’s so intimidating going to a new studio or a new class or even a new teacher for the first time. You don’t know what to expect, and if you don’t know anything about yoga it’s especially scary because most pictures of people doing yoga are of super skinny and flexible people doing difficult poses. My instructor last week actually said to me that she’s been doing it for so long that she forgets how it felt to be totally new to it.

  2. I am sure you will find it! Haha….my yoga practice is done in my tiny sliver of floor space between my bed and dresser and desk in my dorm “closet room” (as I call it). You can do yoga in any space 😉 Just saying!

    1. Okay now that is impressive! I tried to do yoga next to my bed and even though my mat fit there I couldn’t fully extend my hands and feet in the space 😦 I kept smashing my foot on the dresser and couldn’t relax! And I try not to do it in the living room because I’d have to kick my husband out. Someday I’ll have a spare room with a treadmill and space for yoga…someday…

  3. This is so very true. I have a studio that I like a lot because it’s very positive and accepting, but it’s very expensive. I’ve found another studio that looks like it will probably have a good vibe, and the prices are awesome, but it’s very small and I worry about overcrowding and/or not being able to access classes because they’ll be full. I hope you find your yoga home soon!

    1. Oh man that’s annoying! I almost want to say YOLO about the expensive one because you feel comfortable, but I’m dealing with it too and my husband is not too happy! I’ve noticed that the unlimited monthly options for all studios are about the same, so if I find one I really love I’ll shell out the $100 per month. I did that with Barre3 in Philly and it actually made me work out more because the more times you go the cheaper it is per session, and I wanted to get the most bang for my buck! And that of course results in me working out more and getting better at it. Good luck at finding your yoga home!

  4. Good luck on your quest for a yoga home! I was just thinking about this today and how I want to start going to yoga, even if just once a week. I love it but I’m so focused on training intensity that sometimes I forget to relax, stretch, and build strength. Thanks for the reminder, I’m going to make sure I go to a yoga class next week =)

    1. You should! At first I was not enjoying the slow flow/relaxing classes and wanted a hardcore workout, but now I’m all about it. It feels soooooo good after my long run day! My instructor knows I’m a runner and have hip issues and I swear she does more hip openers and hamstring stretches because of that 🙂 Also, I kind of like the quiet moments at the beginning and end of class which help me feel less stressed out. Good luck trying new classes!

  5. I really like my local studio. It’s incredibly welcoming and I haven’t met an instructor that I didn’t like. Plus they have a huge range of classes from breathing and meditation all the way to an intense core class that will kick your butt. And interestingly I’ve never experience ‘judgey-ness’ there. The goal of yoga is to focus inward. I try to appreciate the things I can do and not get too frustrated by my complete lack of flexibility in my hips – lotus position is just not going to happen for a long time. Keep searching – you’ll know when you find your home.

    1. That’s so awesome! I wish I was visiting closer to you in Utah so I could check out a class! I love what you said about focusing inward. That’s how I’ve been feeling lately, but sometimes I suddenly worry that someone is judging me when they look over at me. It’s hard to work out in a room with other people who are all at different levels, but I’m trying my best!

  6. Definitely! I love finding a little nook to fit in. Whether it’s a favorite trail or the perfect studio for you, it’s nice to have a pplace you feel comfortable. I like warm yoga studios but not hot ones. (I know it’s picky) I also like a studio that is “yoga’ish” without being too isolating. I love the mentality and lifestyle associated with yoga but don’t always practice that so I enjoy a place that doesn’t make me feel like I have to. Good luck finding your happy yoga place!

    1. Thanks! I just feel like if I’m spending my time and money somewhere I want it to be a place where I feel good. I agree about the “yoga-ish” thing – I’m not super into meditation and all the stuff that comes with it so some studios don’t really fit.

  7. It’s so interesting to read this because I’ve been considering finding myself a “yoga home” recently. I did go to hot yoga a few years back but unfortunately the drive was a long one and I wasn’t able to commit the time for the drive and the practice. However there’s a yoga studio that’s right down the street from me (a mile, if that) and I’ve been seeing a Groupon for a month unlimited lately, which really makes me want to try and see if it’s the right fit for me! I feel like yoga and running really do go hand-in-hand and I miss it.

    1. You should definitely do it! It does feel really good on my cross training days and helps me relax. I say go for the groupon and if you don’t like it at least you didn’t pay a ton of money. Good luck if you do try it out!

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