This post about trying yoga for the first time by Amy Jarosky (originally posted here) is a part of our fourth-annual Guest Bloggers’ Week. (Check out all of the inspiring, informative, entertaining and life-changing posts here!) Amy is a hedge funder turned holistic health coach, wellness blogger and founder of the health and wellness community Healthy Vices. After a decade in the corporate world, Amy became burnt out and realized she wanted more out of her career and life. She then attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she was trained in more than 100 dietary theories and numerous lifestyle coaching techniques. She currently focuses on helping busy men and women lose weight, decrease stress and improve energy. She truly loves helping individuals feel their best and regain balance in their lives. Amy is also a regular yoga doer, green juice drinker, music listener, bike rider and people lover. To start your journey to health and happiness, visit her website here.
This year has had a lot of firsts for me. It was the first time I wasn’t working at the same hedge fund in over 10 years, it was the first time I lived outside of New York since college, and it was the first time I started an exercise routine and actually stuck with it. My exercise of choice was yoga and although I have managed to remain a loyal yogi, I was definitely nervous for my first time.
My introduction to yoga was a Vinyasa Flow class at Yoga Vida — my teacher being the renowned Hilaria Thomas Baldwin (as in Mrs. Alec Baldwin). Not intimidating at all. The class was only 65 minutes compared to the typical 90-minute class, so I could handle this celeb level of flowing and posing. Or, so I thought, because that class was no joke. I had to take a few “water breaks” in order to keep up with my pretzel-bodied classmates. About 58 minutes in (but who’s counting), I felt a major sigh of relief when Mrs. Baldwin said to prepare for “savasana,” where you follow simple instructions for you to lie on your back, close your eyes, spread your arms and legs, and breathe deeply. Now that I could do.
One thing I noticed on the walk home was that I felt different than when I arrived to class. The feeling was hard to describe, as I felt like I had gotten a massage and spent some time in a sauna, run 10 miles and slept 10 hours all in one. In other words, pure bliss. This intoxicated state is why I committed to the practice of yoga and began attending class on a regular basis. I was determined to do better, and that’s exactly what I did.
Trying something new often opens doors and leads to new interests and goals, and my new love affair with yoga led me on a quest to go deeper. In addition to my headstand goal, I eventually became more in tune with the meditation aspect of yoga. To oversimplify, meditation requires you to look inward in order to calm the mind. This concept was very new to me as I had always been super affected by the overcrowded 6 p.m. train or the jerky driving cabbies. Over time, I started incorporating meditation techniques into my everyday life and have managed to improve my city living sensitivities, too. I would not have been exposed to this new tool without stepping foot in a yoga studio.
Deciding to try something new or choosing to make a change in your lifestyle is the easy part; actually doing it is the hard part. And doing something, for the very first time, is even harder. My first time doing yoga was pretty painful but, like most things, you get better with practice. So go get the first time out of the way! —Amy Jarosky