Quit Being a Meathead, Try Yoga

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My workout regimen was pretty stale for the past few years. It was repetitive, it was boring, and it didn’t keep me motivated. I would walk into Lifetime or 24 Hour Fitness and do the same exact thing over and over again, even though I am one of those people that hates routine. I enjoy keeping an adventurous and curious mentality, otherwise I lose interest in whatever I’m doing. And like many of us, I’m working crazy amounts of hours a week so I’m left crunching what little time and energy I have to squeeze in a workout. Naturally, I’m not going to want to exercise unless it is stimulating, efficient, and effective.

If you know me, you know I’m ALWAYS popping my neck. I’ve had upper back and neck discomfort since middle school. I’m not quite sure where it developed from, but it has been constant ever since. It doesn’t help that I’m a Software Developer — I spend most of my time on a computer. My go-to solution for finding comfort from tight muscles, whether they’re from coding all day or lifting weights, has been to get a deep tissue massage. But even though it’s extremely relaxing, my bank account is drained and the comfort only lasts a little while. I needed an affordable and productive alternative to a massage, which is how I found yoga.

I’d wanted to try yoga for a while, but never really got around to doing it, partly because I didn’t know how or where to start, and partly because I didn’t know who to go with. Like trying anything new, it’s nerve racking, regardless of what the activity is. Plus, there’s the stigma around yoga that it’s only for girls. But finally, after a long day of work, my brother said to Raj and I, let’s go do yoga, and with that, I had my reason to start.

I had tried yoga before, alone in the comforts of my own room, with no judgement and no need to keep up. Although I enjoyed it, there’s nothing quite like having a guide, so that you can just listen and do. Yoga is not only a good workout — it’s an experience, it’s a mentality, it’s a way of life.

Walking into the studio, I felt as if I was about to get a massage. There was a very relaxed, almost hippie vibe, and everyone was welcoming. The class began with an intro of each person: who we were and why we were there. Some were there to relax, some to work out, and some, just because. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, so I probably looked like an idiot, but I never felt out of place or like I didn’t belong. At first, I looked around a lot to see what other people were doing and how exactly they were doing it, but a few minutes into the class and after repeating several poses, I was able to keep up with the pace.

My first experience doing yoga was amazing. I had not stretched in years, and after this class I felt like a new person, physically and mentally. I felt as if I had exercised while getting massaged. When I entered the class, I had felt tired, stressed and unenergetic. When I left, I truly felt alive, energized and clear headed, plus my shirt was drenched. Since then I’ve done yoga roughly seven or eight times, both indoors and outdoors — I’m hooked.

So, quit being a meathead, try yoga. Go with your friends, your girlfriend, someone random, it doesn’t matter — just try it.