Yoga is for everyone


Photo by Bea Roberts

Yoga mats in hand, sophomore Teagan Caine and freshman Kayla Darj walk to the locker room after class.

Groups of girls holding yoga mats trickle out of the locker room door. The girls, who are wearing long pants, pass the shouting boys playing basketball, on their way to the dance studio.

Every second period, I am one of those girls with a mat under my arm. When I hesitantly signed up for a semester of yoga in the spring of eighth grade, I expected to hate it. It was only meant to be a backup in case I didn’t enjoy weightlifting my first semester. Yoga tends to be the go to for girls looking to get their PE credit out of the way. It’s an easy class and you get to spend time with your friends.

I’d done the occasional yoga routine. I’d seen my mom doing it in our basement countless times. But I’d never understood the 36 million Americans who practice and rave about the benefits of yoga. I thought it just wasn’t for me, a sporty girl with absolutely no flexibility.

I thought that in order to do yoga, you must already be a flexible person. But yoga is more about self improvement, as well meeting new people. As someone who is still as stiff as a board, yoga has helped me feel more in touch with my body and myself.

But yoga has benefits other than physical. The peaceful routine of taking your shoes off at the door, unrolling your mat and retrieving your blanket and strap is calming. Just the simple action of stretching out horizontally and closing your eyes for a moment makes yoga enjoyable.

As an athlete, yoga has also helped me keep my body healthy. Usually the only boys who take yoga class are athletes who need active rest or recovery from injury. The majority of boys looking to get their PE credit will do a class like weight lifting or soccer. To most, yoga isn’t even an option. Even though I think boys and girls can enjoy yoga, it doesn’t interest many boys, which isn’t inherently a bad thing. People should pursue the activities that interest them.

Yoga has the reputation of being an easy class where you don’t really do anything, but I came to find that yoga is actually rather difficult. Depending on the type, yoga can take an incredible amount of balance and finesse to do properly. Yoga class stays interesting because you are constantly trying new types of yoga poses.

As the first semester came to an end, I realized I’d been converted. I’d made friends and enjoyed the class so much I wanted to take it again. I can finally touch my toes (sometimes). I don’t think you should take yoga if you have another class that interests you. But if you’re not the sporty type or you want some time to unwind, yoga is the perfect class. Don’t knock it until you really try it; I think there is something in yoga class for everyone.