Yoga. Period.

Yoga. What does it even mean? At this point, the word is overused and cliché. Unfortunately, social media and capitalism has encouraged vanity and exploitation of a practice that has been around longer than most of us and is rooted much deeper than we give it credit for or even begin to think about.

I am not qualified to explain what yoga means because it is a very personal experience for everyone. I want to talk about my personal experience with yoga and how it has been a necessary component to balancing out my active lifestyle. I am not spiritual, and I do not practice yoga in the same way that it was originally intended – but I also do not do it to look a certain way or profit from it. I truly believe that everyone can benefit from the teachings of yoga, you just have to find what style is best for you.

I used to think that yoga was “glorified stretching,” but that term has a negative connotation to it. Although as a runner I benefit most from opening up my hips and hamstrings, yoga is much more complex and presents challenges to the mind and body that I never would have been introduced to in any other sport. Yoga directly supports my future as runner, yet opens up a world I can’t tap in to when I am running and this is why I need to talk about it.

This is the prologue to a few different chapters about my continuing yoga journey.