One of the habits that I’ve adopted since moving to Portland, nearly three long weeks ago, has been the daily practice of Yoga. I was doing a lot of Yoga in New York, at the amazing donation based center Yoga To The People, and occasionally at home. It’s a lot easier to practice in the silence of my quaint Portland neighborhood, than it ever was in the noise of New York.

I’m a relative beginner at practicing yoga, I have to admit that. I’ve been moving actively since forever, but the regular practice of Asana’s and meditation is something I’ve been doing for just over a year. I studied dance in Chicago and for three years at NYU, so a lot of the principles of working with the body are the same, but the intention is much different.

In dance the focus is the performance (which admittedly I was always least interested in.) where as Yoga is about working with yourself to bring your mind, body, spirit, and the world all into sync with each other. That’s a giant difference in approach, but everything is related. The internal focus of Yoga really thrills me.

Why am I sharing this? Because I think Yoga is something everyone should try. And now that Far Beyond The Stars has 100+ readers(!), I figured I’d share.

Yoga will make your photos better, because it will make your life better.

Ways that I’ve observed my life improving since practicing yoga daily:

1, My concentration has improved.
I spend less time staring at walls wondering what I was supposed to do with my life, and more time focusing on the things that matter. Like this blog. Or cooking dinner for myself out of vegetables from the farmer’s co-op.

2, Improved flexibility.
I gradually begun to be able stretch and touch parts of my body that I never could before. I’m especially interested in asanas that involve binds, so I end up doing a lot of stretches with my arms behind my back and such. These really open my chest, my triceps, my back. Amazing!

3, I spend less time questioning myself.
I’ve found that regular meditation leads to answers to many of the questions that I’d previously spent questioning for ages while not meditating. These are not easy to discuss in a blog form, but I’ll give an example. Why am I in Portland? Answers to that question come to me in pigeon pose.

Well, that’s a few things. The more time I spend doing yoga, the more I realize how endless the discoveries are from the practice. I could go on listing them forever, but I have coffee to drink.

I think the most important thing I can communicate to you, the readers of this tiny blog in the big universe, is that Yoga is for everyone. The last line of Yoga To The People‘s creed is “All Bodies Rise”. Because their whole goal is to open Yoga to everyone, so everyone can benefit from it.

Here’s a copy of Yoga To The People’s creed, as it’s an important basis for my practice and my approach to Yoga in general:

There will be no correct clothes
There will be no proper payment
There will be no right answers
No glorified teachers
No ego no script no pedestals
No you’re not good enough or rich enough
This yoga is for everyone
This sweating this breathing this becoming
This knowing glowing feeling
Is for the big small weak and strong
Able and crazy
Brothers sisters grandmothers
The mighty and the meek
Bones that creek
Those who seek
This power is for everyone
Yoga to the people
All bodies rise

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