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Although I started doing fitness-style yoga 10 years ago, I started practicing in a viniyoga studio in January 2007. The differences in these two types of yoga have been very striking for me.

I have never been an athletic person and found yoga helpful because I was just too clumsy to keep up with Pilates, Jazzercise or other fitness classes. I consider myself a spiritual person but the spiritual aspect was not a factor in my decision to pursue yoga. I started taking classes at a viniyoga studio to get back in shape after my 2nd child was born. Because I have small children I try to fit yoga in to my regular routine both at home and in classes, but sometimes only practice 1-2 times per week. I did not expect that combining yoga, meditation and a focus on balance would have such a dramatic impact on my physical and mental well being. Now I am in much better shape than I ever expected to be and can feel the impact of a focus on balance in my own sense of well-being. Some of the things that I have learned fall into the following categories.

Trust - trusting my body to learn what I am asking, and trusting that sometimes my body doesn't do what I want it to - even if a pose came easily the day before. That doesn't mean failure, but rather that each day is different. Tomorrow is different too.

Confidence - that I can be strong and that through practice I will learn what I need to learn. That I have the power to help myself and do not need to be a victim of circumstances, people or my own body.

Humility - that I am an eternal student and it doesn't really matter to anyone (including myself) how good I am at yoga.

Community - that the community of like-minded people has an energy and healing power valuable in itself.

When described in this way, yoga seems very spiritual and like religion. Thank you for giving me the chance to share my views. Namaste.