I remember my first yoga class as if it were yesterday. I was a sophomore in college when the first Bikram studio opened in Boston and couldn’t wait to check it out. Unfamiliar with the sequence and doing much of anything in 100-degree heat, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into but I was ready to try something new. While the class was incredibly challenging I did not expect to feel the way I did walking out of the studio. I felt alive, sublimely alive. Grinning ear to ear, this aliveness was euphoric.
The dictionary defines euphoria, “as an intense state of happiness and self-confidence, a feeling of great elation”. This feeling or state of being is what draws me back to my mat every day. This is not to say that when my mat is rolled up and tucked away I don’t experience euphoric states but there’s something about the movement of the body and flow of breath that effortlessly syncs promotes this intense state of happy. Over the years my yoga practice has been my outlet in reaching my bliss and joy. With no intention to abandon my yoga practice and euphoric state, I couldn’t help but wonder what other outlets could I reach this same state of bliss? So I sought to try other sports and activities to see if I could stimulate this same high.
My first experiment was running. Not a huge runner I reluctantly signed up for and trained for road races – thinking this would make me stick with it. However with time, and a broken iPod, I finally got it! One day everything clicked, I felt weightless almost like a meditative floating quality. There it was again, my breath and movement synced with each step. I found my pace and rhythm in each stride taking me one step closer and deeper in my euphoria.
My next adventure: surfing. Always intrigued by the sport I decided to give it a go. My first lesson I was completely terrified. I watched the waves crash around and all I could think about was getting caught in the waves or maybe eaten by a shark. Standing up didn’t even feel like an option I just wanted to make it back to shore in one piece. I thought this is nothing like my euphoria. Nevertheless, not ready to give up after a few attempts I popped up and threw myself into some resemblances of a Warrior II. I’m not sure if it was being in a familiar Warrior II shape but there it was, with a grin ear to ear pure joy rushes over me. Not ready to go professional any day soon but nothing beats the thrill and confidence of catching a wave. All of a sudden you’re fearless, like a queen walking on water.
To challenge your self and push yourself out of our comfort zones is always goodness in the making. It means you’re in a place of growth, a place of adventure and exploration. Don’t let nerves or fear stand in your way of starting something new that could perhaps prevent you from experiencing your own intense state of happiness and self-confidence, your very own euphoria.
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