Can Yoga Actually Change Your Life?

Written By Allison Toth

BIO: My name is Allison, and I am a university student currently spending a semester in Spain. Traveling is the absolute love of my life and I couldn't imagine a world without it! I'm really passionate about photography, art, fitness, and language. I currently speak two languages and am working on numbers three and four. I strongly believe the world is huge and we have to lose ourselves in it if we want to get the true human experience.
Social Media: @alaroundtheworldx

I started really getting into yoga about three months ago when I moved to Spain to start a semester abroad. I went to one class, and if I’m being totally honest, I was only there for the cute snapchat picture and to be able to brag to my friends the next day about my zen-tastic morning at yoga. I expected it to be a one-time thing but what I discovered was something completely different. That one yoga class had a domino effect on my life. I was hooked from the start and fell in love with yoga in the exact way that I fell in love so many boys when I was younger – fast and hard.

My favorite thing about yoga is the effects it has on my mental health. I’m someone who battles anxiety daily in spite of seeming like a generally very happy and relaxed person. When I’m in yoga class, the thoughts in my head stop circling me. Everything stops. Every time I walk through that revolving door, everything else disappears and I am truly in the moment. I’ve always struggled with focusing during my workouts but when I’m in yoga I feel like I can truly let go of everything else and soak up that glorious hour of peace. During the class I feel calm and carefree, and that feeling follows me after, sometimes for the entire day. I love that something so good for my body is good for my soul too. Everybody loves a good two for one.

Another thing I really like about yoga is how much of a challenge it is. Before I got into yoga, I always thought about how easy it seemed and how ridiculous people were for being passionate about something so boring. Once I started attending class religiously I realized that yoga is as difficult as you decide it to be. If you push yourself, there are always improvements to be made…of two varieties. There are the physical improvements, like becoming stronger or nailing a difficult pose, but there are also spiritual/mental improvements like seeing a fall in your stress level and finding yourself smiling more. I never thought yoga would make me as happy as it does, but here I am, sitting in lotus position, typing this blog.

Yoga encourages a lot of things – self-awareness, personal growth, a healthy lifestyle, flexibility, community, tranquility, and not to mention how much better my butt looks since I’ve started! I never thought I’d find myself as a self-proclaimed yogi. And you know what? I’m so glad that I am. 

You see, yoga isn’t about the Instagram posts or being the most flexible or seeming like you have it all together. Yoga is about being in the moment and creating your own life. The things yoga has given me have changed the direction of my life and for that, I am so grateful. It fights anxiety/depression and challenges you to push yourself into a stronger body and mind. I’m so glad I took a leap of faith and stepped into the yoga studio (even if it was just for a cliché picture and quick workout) because I’ve learned so much and I continue to learn every class. I know now that I'll never go back to a life without downward dog and warrior. 

Love, a newly self-proclaimed yogi