At the risk of sounding cliche… yoga has 100 percent changed my life.

I understand why people quit their jobs to pursue a full-time practice in yoga. I get it.

I’m still a newbie, but now that it’s been a solid year that I’ve been practicing yoga, I decided it deserves its own section on my blog.

I go to yoga every single day. Seven days a week, 60 minutes of grueling, hot yoga. My current yoga studio is Core Power Yoga. They have a bazillion locations and it makes it so easy to continue practicing when I’m traveling.

Why I started yoga

At first, I started yoga to give me something to do during the off season from snowboarding. I had tried yoga years before and didn’t enjoy it. The repetitive movements were boring — but keep in mind this was at a time when I was into bootcamps, circuit training, and running five miles.

I craved the fast-paced, high-energy, bursting-at-the-brim workouts. The kind that would make you want to eat everything in sight afterwards.

I also didn’t like the hot temperature in yoga studios. It made me feel extra tired during class, and I don’t like being hot. But oddly, when the room wasn’t heated, I felt like I didn’t get a proper workout if I didn’t sweat. Bah, maybe yoga just wasn’t for me. So I stopped.

When I picked it up again, I found a studio near my office and walked there every day, after work. I had been spinning at FlyWheel for a solid six months before that. To say I was bored from spinning was an understatement (same music, same instructors, same boring routine of just moving your legs on a stationary bike).

So I decided… what the heck, how bad can yoga be?

Learning, growing, and getting strong AF

Each day, I learned something new at yoga. Whether it was something technical, like shifting my weight to the knife edge of my foot, or becoming more tolerate of the heat, I improved with each passing day.

I started incorporating my meditation into my practice too. I’d either zonk out or meditate during the last 10 minutes of class (during Savasana). Slowly but surely, my appreciation and curiosity grew.

Cut to a few studios later and a solid year of yoga, I’m physically stronger and more flexible than I’ve ever been in my life.

There’s a reason why you see grandmas and grandpas in yoga, just crushing it. It’s not really exercise, it’s a lifestyle.

I’ve embraced this lifestyle and I’m so grateful that I forced myself to continue when I didn’t want to. When it was physically painful and made me uncomfortable and intimidated.

When I was at the six-month mark, I was obsessed with getting my handstands, twists and inversions just right — but I’ve realized it’s not about right or wrong.

Yoga is what you want it to be, and that sits really well with me. It’s a daily routine that challenges me to grow physically and mentally strong.