When did you first step onto a yoga mat? For some, it might have been when you were a kid and some it might be more recently. For me, it was my freshman year of college with the help of a yoga DVD from the library.
A lot has changed since then—thanks to my job at MINDBODY, I get to practice at work multiple times a week. My coworkers are my teachers and my fellow students. (In fact, I’ll be taking one of those classes in a few hours.)
And while MINDBODY has given me the opportunity to expand my yoga practice by giving me the opportunity to take classes onsite at work multiple times a week, it’s also given me the opportunity connect with yoga instructors and studio owners from around the world through our events like MINDBODY University and the BOLD conference.
In the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to drop into classes in Boston and Detroit, interview the owner of a studio in the very rural part of Indiana where I grew up, and visit a fast-growing hip-hop yoga studio in New York.
When I started yoga, it was just something I did because my track coach suggested it. Now it’s something more—it’s a way that I connect with the world around me. I’ve practiced with people twice my age who are more flexible than I probably ever can hope to be and people who have never been to a class before. This was especially true in Detroit, where I had the opportunity to practice in an amazingly diverse community class that brought people from different walks of life together.
In today’s increasingly busy world, it can be hard to find time to get to your mat, but for me, it’s become one of the most important parts of my life. I can feel what happens when I don’t practice both physically and mentally.
And I’m not alone in this—I asked some of my coworkers how they got started practicing yoga. For most, it’s become an integral part of their lives—for one, it led her to apply at MINDBODY, and for another, it’s become a way of bringing her mind and body together.
Remember how I said my coworkers were my teachers? When I asked Alissa Rogers, one of our copywriters and MINDBODY’s resident yoga sculpt teacher, why she became a yoga instructor she said: “I felt from writing to and for our customers who were following their passion teaching what they (and I) loved, led me to feel like I was ready to do something more.”
This International Yoga Day, I am grateful for the things that practicing yoga has given me, and the people it has allowed me to meet. For those of you who practice, be sure to take some time on your mat today, and for those of you who teach: thank you.