I used to drag myself out of bed at hours I'd only ever heard about to go running. In a fog I'd put on my running shoes, drive to the trail and start pounding the pavement before I was awake enough to stop what I was doing.
I'd get back home before it was light out, rinse off and be asleep in time to get another hour in before work.
Tricking my sleepy self into exercise was the closest I could get to an "active and healthy lifestyle."
For the rest of the day, the middle of the night run would just seem like a dream.
Only, I was starting to magically tone up and look like one of those personal trainers.
This nonsense went on for about a year before I made the mistake of taking a cognitive, fully aware run at night before bed.
I only made it about two horrible miles before I realized how much I completely despise exercise and hate running more than throwing up or going to the dentist.
That was the last run.
So I reverted for about two years into a sock full of jello until my yoga studio opened at Hairston Street.
Stop imagining a room full of hairy armpits and people rubbing crystals on each other.
Yes, some people have hairy armpits. Sure, my crystals are lined up on the kitchen window recharging in the sunlight.
But it's not as far fetched as you'd imagine.
You really won't be that uncomfortable, and there's not just one type of person in a yoga class.
Every class has beginners, intermediates and the patchouli-wearing yogi types.
As my teacher says, no one cares what you're doing anyway.
Yoga is an inward practice where the poses are secondary.
If you're doing it right, you completely forget you're doing what could be called exercise.
Another thing to forget is that it's too hard. Really, you can make it as challenging or as easy as you'd like.
Some classes I challenge myself, some I just kind of hang out until we get to shavasana, the part where everyone lays down and melts into the floor.
I may not look like a personal trainer right now, but I'm pretty happy with the way I feel. I can beat you in a headstand and do the splits for the first time in my life at age 29.
My yoga practice comes into play during the day, too - not just when doing headstands in my editor's office during our morning meetings, but in how I deal with stress.
Yoga makes my body feel younger and my mind more at ease.
For the first time, I don't hate exercise.
Here's my happy place - Go Inside Yoga.