Despite what many people think about public relations, it can actually be a very stressful career. It’s regularly listed as one of the most stressful jobs in America, and while I don’t know that that is always an accurate assessment, the long hours, tight deadlines and constant client communication can be quite draining on a person.
Nearing the end of 2012, I was getting extremely overwhelmed with the daily grind of my job (don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, but I needed a break), and I vowed to myself that in 2013 I would take up an activity that would contrast my hectic work schedule. I opted to try out yoga – though I had never really done yoga before I had heard that it would be great for calming a constantly buzzing mind and body. Plus, I thought it might be a reasonable replacement for my very apparent lack of physical activity recently.
So when the New Year rolled around, I started attending yoga class once a week. I haven’t gone every single week, but I’ve been doing yoga (Vinyasa, to be exact) pretty regularly for the last three months and I’ve really enjoyed it a lot. I’ll admit that it’s certainly not the best replacement for working out (at least for me, since I was previously training for a marathon), but it’s done wonders for my inner zen. After every yoga class, I feel such a sense of calm, and it’s amazing that I’ve found ways to channel that same calming energy throughout my stressful work week.
When it comes to becoming a yogi, I still have a long way to go – there are many times that I have to watch my fellow classmates to find out what position the teacher just called out, since I haven’t really mastered the various pose names yet (except for child’s pose…that one I have down). Still, I’ve been able to see a difference in my yoga abilities from when I first started back in January.
I think that yoga is a very personal thing, and people have connections to certain studios. I’ve been testing out various studios in Austin to try and find my special place, and while I think it might be too early to tell if I’ve found THE place for me, I’ve been to some amazing yoga studios in the area, and I wanted to share my 3 favorites thus far:
- –Donation Yoga: located on W. 6th Street, Donation Yoga is a great studio for beginning yogis. All the classes that I’ve attended there are small enough that you are able to get some one-on-one help from the instructor if you need it. And if you couldn’t tell from the name, the studio is entirely donation-based so you can donate as much or as little as you feel (typical donations range from $10-$20).
- –Dharma Yoga: Dharma Yoga is another great place for people of all skill levels (beginners included), and they have some great classes to take (I’m particularly fond of the All Levels classes). I think the actual yoga practice is a little more strenuous than the one at Donation Yoga, so it allows me to find my calm while still feeling like I got a workout in. The studio is located in Central Austin, just north of the UT campus.
- –Yoga Yoga: Of all the studios I’ve visited, Yoga Yoga seemed like the most advanced. This morning I tried the Vinyasa class with Ana Pilar, and it was great. I actually found myself having to stop in between because of the difficulty level, but Ana Pilar was extremely encouraging and entertaining the entire time. Also – today Yoga Yoga is offering free classes until 6 pm at all of their studios around Austin (and everything at the studio – including class passes – are 20% off today only!).
I look forward to trying more and more yoga studios until I find the right one. Austin is a city full of different studios and practices, so if you’ve found a studio that you particularly love, let me know because I’m still looking!