Running was always my thing.
I still remember the excitement in my chest as I’d lace up my sneakers and step outside before a long run. Since the age of 14, I had turned to running as an outlet for my body and mind—no matter if I got into an argument with my mom, or wanted to explore a new city.
I craved going on a long run like some people crave a slice of pizza. It satisfied my need to release pent-up energy while giving me the space to think and process. It wasn’t just exercise—it was a daily ritual. Running was my sacred space to confront the ugly, weird issues in my life—without judgment.
But when I graduated from college and entered the working world, those cravings began to change. I no longer had the flexibility to go on a run whenever I had the urge to just think. My workouts needed to fit into my newly busy life, and the shorter they were, the better.
I also noticed that my body was changing. A lot. Before I spent all day in an office, my legs were fluid and strong. I craved breathing the fresh air if I was stuck inside for too long. But a few months into my job, I began to get aches and pains that were never there before. After going on a run, I would find myself feeling tight and stressed instead of refreshed.
I finally realized that running had become just another box to check off on my never-ending to-do list. It was no longer serving its purpose: to re-energize my body and my soul. It slowly became a once-a-week activity instead of every day.
To my surprise, yoga filled that void.
I had never thought of yoga as my thing. Although I had always liked it, yoga felt like something you do on an active rest day—not a workout in and of itself. I never imagined that I’d feel as satisfied after a yoga class as I did after a 10-mile run. Or that it would do anything for my body, really, except make me more flexible. Although running was my ritual for many reasons, I had to admit I liked the way that it made my body look, too.
Over time, I realized I couldn't have been more wrong about yoga. In it, I found a sacred space where I could challenge both my body and mind. It changed my life in countless ways. Here are a few of the ways I've grown since becoming a yogi: