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A little while ago, I bought a Living Social deal for Pure Barre. I’ve gone 7 times now and like it. I just don’t love it. I like feeling a little like a ballerina (since I am so far from one) and I like the fact that it works some muscles that yoga doesn’t get to. I know this for a fact, because after my first class I was limping around for 2 days.

But, for me at least, it’s no yoga.

I get the physical burn, but I don’t get the mental cleanse that I get from the hot room. Maybe some people do get that from Barre, but I never felt it. This was a good reminder that for me – yoga really is special.

It makes me think back to my pre-yoga existence.

In the summer of 2009, I wandered into a Bikram yoga studio with no idea what to expect. I’d done yoga before, but I’d never had a serious practice. It was mostly just a couple of Rodney Yee tapes (yes, actual VHS tapes) that I’d dust off once in a while.

I’d been a meditator for a couple of years, so it seemed to make sense that I would try out yoga. A friend had heard great things about our local Bikram studio and she thought I might like it.

I will forever be indebted to Rachel for this suggestion.

I had just come home from a month of studying at Oxford and it wasn’t all I expected it to be. I felt mildly depressed and mildly fat. I don’t mean to jump on the bandwagon and bash the Brits for their food, but let’s just say the vegetarian-on-a-budget experience was not great.

I needed to get my life back on track. I figured yoga couldn’t hurt.

Now, thinking about life without yoga is just crazy. If I didn’t do yoga, my life would be totally different.

~ I wouldn’t have the support of such a wonderful yogi community.

~ I wouldn’t eat such healthy foods.

~ I wouldn’t have such deep and healing meditations.

~ I would not sleep as well.

~ I would not be as strong, mentally, physical, spiritually.

 ~ I would still have panic attacks.

 ~ I would not have such a strong connection with my husband.

 ~ I would be less comfortable with my body.

~ I would be shorter. (Seriously, I grew an inch.)

~ I would not have had the experience of doing yoga in a foreign country.

~ I would struggle more with depression.

~ I would have continuing back problems from my injury.

So, yeah, some days it’s hard to get myself to the studio. Some days it feels extra hot and humid and the yoga truck runs me over. Some days I feel stiff and my backbend is not as pretty as I want it to be. Some days I just want to sit on the couch and watch re-runs of Top Chef.

But when I look at it all cumulatively, the only logical thing to do is to go put on those tiny shorts.

Namaste.

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