How Yoga Changed My Life and Why I Love It
Yoga has become more than just a fitness craze (goat yoga, anyone?!)…it’s a staple for people looking to improve their bodies and minds. I went to my first yoga class in high school, at a time when I was dealing with bad anxiety and panic attacks. I didn’t realize that yoga would have any correlation with my anxiety, until I started going more and found that my panic attacks started to decrease more and more. I loved the way the class worked my body, improved my flexibility, made my neck and back issues feel better, and most importantly settled my mind. I think everyone can benefit from yoga in one way or another…read on to find out all of the positive side effects that it can bring!
This is the main reason why I do yoga…anytime I’m having a stressful day or going through a rough patch, it always makes me feel more centered, calm, and stress-free by the end of class. Yoga is essentially a form of meditation, because it’s one hour for you to escape from the world, and focus on your breath, movements, and body. It’s kind of hard to be stressed about work when you’re trying to do a headstand or moving through a vinyasa.
Strength & Flexibility
There are different types of yoga classes you can go to - some are more relaxing while some are more intense. I like to do a mixture of both, depending on how my body is feeling. It really is a great workout (especially for your core), and helps your body get stronger and more flexible. Yoga helps you get a leaner body, lose weight, and balance your metabolism. It’s also fun to get better and learn new poses that you once thought were impossible.
Silence is pretty hard to come by in our world full of busy schedules and constant distraction, so it’s important to savor those moments of silence with yourself on your mat. Connecting with your body and mind is healthy, and makes you more self-aware, compassionate, and just an overall better human.
Favorite Yoga Studios
Now that you know a few key benefits that yoga brings, I want to highlight some of my favorite studios in Austin that I like to go to! However, a great thing about yoga is that you don’t necessarily need a studio to practice yoga. I do it at my house all the time, as well as while I’m traveling, on tour, at the airport, or wherever!
Black Swan Yoga
This is definitely my go-to studio in Austin, because it’s affordable (they have a donation-based payment policy, so you choose what you pay), consistent (the teachers are always amazing), and convenient (close to my house). They offer a good variety of classes from flow to Hot ONNIT (a more intense yoga/cardio/weight class). This was actually the first studio I ever went to in high school, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
I like this studio a lot — they have a solid variety of classes with tons of time and location options. They’re also a franchise, so you can find CorePower in several cities (they were founded in Denver, CO). Their Yoga Sculpt class is actually the hardest class I’ve ever taken in my life (it’s nothing like traditional yoga), and combines intense cardio with light weight lifting.
Wanderlust has 2 locations in Austin - one in the Domain and one downtown. I like the one downtown the best because they have a Blenders & Bowls connected to the studio, so I can get a smoothie after a good sweat sesh. They also occasionally have live music with their yoga classes, which is really cool and different.
Favorite Yoga Clothes
When it comes to my yoga clothes, the bottoms have to be high-waisted and they must be comfortable. I’ve included a few of my favorite brands for yoga and workout clothes below. However, I want to note a new favorite local brand, Meer Bra. They make sports bras using 100% recycled materials - they’re also super comfy & are perfect for regular daytime wear, yoga, gym, and everything in between!
Outdoor Voices is my favorite, not only because they’re based in Austin, but also because their leggings are the most COMFORTABLE things I’ve ever worn. They feel like I’m wearing a cloud. If you haven’t jumped on the OV train, get on board.
I love Alo’s cute designs and the fit of high waisted leggings. They’re the perfect option for looking good and getting your sweat on.
This brand is a solid option for yoga and workout clothes. They’re always comfy, adorable, and very affordable too!