How Nadia + Yoga Came To Be

People come to yoga for different reasons: some want mental clarity, increased mobility, recovery, weight loss, etc. etc. I came about it because I was a dancing kid that lost her way.

Alice Faye Tap Dancer's. We danced to "In The Mood." I'm the little Asian girl on the front row.
Alice Faye Tap Dancer’s. We danced to “In The Mood.” I’m the little Asian girl on the front row.

I tried out for a few competitive teams and surprisingly made it. I guess I was somewhat coordinated and pretty flexible and balanced – things that are important dancing. [Let me enjoy my humblebrag here! I worked hard at dancing, but it was never hard work because it was fun.]

As a kid, though, I was freakishly skinny (ignore the chubby cheeks of my photo – I was usually in the severely underweight category growing up and didn’t fill out until high school) and I even had pretty defined abs. Of course, none of this is important if you’re 8 years old. I took it for granted and ate a diet of garbage – candy, cookies, more candy, chocolate, candy, fruit snacks (really just candy) and meat. And candy.

Ok, so maybe I still have an addiction to sugar. This is currently the chocolate stash that I have at my desk. Please stage an intervention for me. :(
Ok, so maybe I still have an addiction to sugar. This is currently the chocolate stash that I have at my desk. Please stage an intervention for me. 🙁

On the cusp of entering college, I was no longer underweight, but neither was I fit. High school PE was no longer a requirement once you were a junior or senior and I quit dancing because I couldn’t find a studio I loved anymore. I never got fat by any means of the scale, but I continued my diet of garbage. In college I ate more garbage that contributed to moodiness. I shouldn’t title this blog cookie monster – I was Oscar, the Grouch all the time.

At some point before college, I followed my sister to Bikram because it seemed like a decent alternative to dancing. Banking on my flexible and disregarding my strength, I backbended my way to pinched nerves and heat exhaustion. I had a hard time sticking to Bikram because it fed my Type-A need-to-be-number-one latent personality. It stressed me out. It made me skinny fat with immense back pain as I pushed myself to backbending more and more and more. I’m not hating on Bikram – I have seen it do great things for people who lacked the mobility to do simple stretches. It just wasn’t for me. But I continued because none of the other yoga classes were intense enough. My motives for doing yoga were not right for me and set an unhealthy attitude towards my body.

A few years after college, while pursuing desk job after desk job, and semi-toying around with other forms of exercise (running! swimming! lifting weights! bar method/dailey method!) I finally stumbled upon vinyasa yoga.

Within months of vinyasa yoga, I got stronger. I wanted to go back. I had fun. I made friends. I came out of my shell of self-pity and driving myself too hard. I wanted to do yoga to embrace my inner kid – to play around with new poses, to laugh at falling and failing. I was able to find that bit of community and happiness that made me love dancing as a kid.

the miscellaneous thoughts of a daydreamer