The Things that Calm Me: Yoga

Teresa first introduced me to yoga in college and off and on since I've gone through spurts of being really into it and then "not having time for it" aka, coming up with excuses to not go. Yes, I'm sure some of those excuses were actually legit, but a lot of the time, it was me not choosing to make time for something that calms me and gets my endorphins flowing. As I continue to deal with my stress and anxiety in practical ways, I realize that I am more productive, happier, calmer, and probably just a nicer person to be around when I'm doing yoga regularly.

When I step into a yoga studio, I silence my phone and force myself to be present there. I tell myself that the world around me won't fall apart in the hour and a half I've checked out (which sometimes isn't easy to do) and I focus on being there. It's a time for me to clear my mind, pray, meditate and breathe deeply.

If you've tried yoga and don't think it's for you, I'd say, there are a wide variety of styles of yoga, and maybe you just need to find what works best for you, or the right studio, or instructor. I know that hot yoga isn't for me, I typically do vinyasa but recently have gotten into yin.

After going fairly regularly this fall and winter, I was determined not to quit it entirely while we were in Europe this past month. I packed my favorite leggings and signed up for Gaia, which I'd describe as the Netflix of yoga videos :) They really have some good stuff on there, but I do so much better with classes in person rather than rolling around solo on hotel room floors.

When I got to Lisbon, I felt adventurous and decided to see if I could find a studio that taught in English and I few minutes of Googling later and I'd booked a class at Little Yoga Space, just a quick 10 minute walk from my hotel. I loved it! It was truly a tiny space with room enough for 8 people and a super friendly instructor and group of regulars who were super welcoming to me, this jet legged stranger from Seattle.

When we continued on to Amsterdam, a friend brought me along to Delight Yoga- which actually has four beautiful spaces around Amsterdam, one of which is pictured above. I wish I could move to Amsterdam JUST to continue yoga here. The spaces all look like they belong in a magazine, and most people hang around for a bit after drinking tea. It felt like stepping into a spa.

Both in Lisbon and Amsterdam, I noticed that the majority of the people showed up in street clothes and changed at the yoga studio, as it's less common to be walking around in active wear (BTW, if you haven't seen this, it's hilarious). Also, in both cities, it seems like it's much less common to bring your own mat to class. Apart from these small differences, it's nice that most everything else seemed familiar to me. I think that part of my travel traditions from here on out will include trying yoga in new places. 

1 comment

  1. Love this, Jenny! I am sending it to Kelly, my yoga instructor. Just today she told me she had read your blog about tea. I had sent her the blog about the tile because she sometimes loses things, but anyway she will also enjoy 😊 this blog as it is everything she says about yoga. RB has said for years that I am a happier person when I go to yoga!