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Enter to Win a Gaiam Yoga Prize Pack

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Have you done so many downward dogs that your sticky mat is now more like a slippy mat? Are you still sipping water out of that questionable plastic bottle? If so, you're in serious need of a yoga gear upgrade, and we just happen to be giving three readers a deluxe prize pack of Gaiam gear from Gaiam and Amazon.com.

Each winner will receive a Taos mat, Taos water bottle, purple mat sling, purple headband, purple mat band, purple no-slip yoga towel, purple braided yoga strap, thirsty yoga hand towel, and purple yoga block. To enter, just answer this question in the comments section: How has yoga changed you?

Read the official rules.

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Comments (166)

  • In a hustling, bustling world of activities, packed schedules, traffic, and other forms of stress...yoga helps me to manage my anxiety. Meditation really helps me to clear my mind of distractions and get in touch with a still small quiet place where I can find rest mentally and physically. In addition, I found yoga to be very helpful in becoming more limber and therefore enables me to improve my performance when running and other sports activities. For a sound mind, body and soul, yoga is a must have in my life!

  • Yoga made me taller. It's true. I gained a full inch in height by stretching myself out. Yoga also made me much more flexible and I feel much less stiffness. Plus it clears my mind and that's a tough thing to do.

  • Yoga has made me a better mom to me sons. It's my outlet and my "me" time. I am calmer and much more happier after yoga. With a 2 year old and a 4 month old, things get hectic but the hour and a half each night of yoga is what keeps me sane!!

  • Yoga has allowed me to experience a deeper relaxation that I could never find with exercising. I love it so much that I moved my office in to a Yoga studio. I also recommend to all of my patients that they take up yoga not only for it's physical benefits, but also for it's spiritual and emotional benefits. -Chris Akin D.C.

  • Yoga has helped me improve my sleep. When my body is more relaxed, my mind is also.

  • Yoga has made me stronger, more flexible, and most importantly, more centered. It has brought me peace that I didn't think possible, and has taught me that I possess grace that I never knew I had!

  • Wow. Yoga has helped me tremendously! My wife kept nagging me about my lack of energy so I picked up yoga. Yoga not only has made me feel and look better, it had made me more flexible for rough play (easy easy) with my kids. There's nothimg more eye opening than not having enough energy to keep to with kids. I need to be around for them. Eating right and yoga!

  • Yoga has made me more mindful, flexible, and centered. When I regularly practice, I feel more limber, relaxed, and healthy!

  • Yoga has given so much but the greatest gift is the ability to surrender to the natural flow of life and take the ups and downs like taking a breath in and out. With greater ease and flexibility.

  • Yoga has changed me by opening doors I thought didn't exist! Opening my mind to new ways of healing my body on the outside and inside. Opening my soul to a more calming way of life and Opening my life to new avenues of health and happiness!

  • Brings me peace and relaxes me after day of work

  • I have had many physical issues since birth, but once I started going to a Dahn yoga studio a few years ago -- I felt like a completely different person. Some of my life long "problems" faded from my constant awareness to almost non-existent. Yoga practice truly made me healthier.

  • Yoga has helped me in many ways. I have learned how to quiet the mind. I am more energetic and pain free. I had many aches and pains, but yoga has helped them melt away. I've also struggled with crippling anxiety over the years, and yoga eases that burden in my life. My balance has improved, and I feel stronger and more flexible. I try to practice 3-4 times a week, and in turn I sleep better at night and wake up feeling refreshed.

  • Yoga has given me a sense of calm and peace. I now have to practice on my own at home, but have found many great resources to keep flowing!

  • I love when my yoga class if almost over, and we gather around in a close, sweaty circle to chant "Om." We all harmonize together, and the vibration of our voices is dancing off the wood floors--I feel truly connected to the world around me. Grounded like tree pose :)

  • Yoga has helped me to overcome herniated discs without surgery in my 20's. I am now in my 50's and although not near as flexible due to aging arthritis, yoga still keeps me agile, pain free, calm and just enjoying every thing in life that I am blessed with. :)

  • Yoga has made me calm. I have a very active 11 month old and doing yoga helps me focus and remain calm when doing stressful activities.

  • Yoga has taught me patience, love, to live in the moment and to remember to breathe even when things get tough. It has taught me that with love and respect for myself and the world I live in, I can accomplish anything. It has really taught me to love myself for the real me, something that no one or nothing else has ever made me realize. It has truly changed my life, but left me with a very slippery mat!

  • Yoga clears your mind, transforms your body, and is a major confidence-builder. I will never forget how proud of myself I was the first time I made it through a whole practice (90 min. heated power vinyasa flow) without falling out of a pose or needing a break in child's pose. And it's great that EVERYONE can do it, regardless of height, weight, athletic ability, injuries, etc. Everything can be custom-modified to fit you. I love yoga!!

  • I have been told to try this to help me with my arthritis and I would love to see how this can change my life! I would love to win so that I can start healing!!!

  • For me,it isn't a question of how yoga has changed me, but how I hope it WILL change me. In the last year I have developed SI joint problems which prevents me from indulging in a lot of the high impact exercise activities I previously enjoyed. I need to hit the restart button and I believe yoga can not only help me achieve a better physical condition, but also help me to re-center and refocus my life.

  • Yoga has help me get in touch with my body. I am more flexible and can help my old knees get me where I need to go. I truly appreciate the peace it brings to my world.

  • I'm practicing 2 days a week and meditating every single day.. It aligns my body and mind and makes me more able to be present in the moment -- Not to mention my glutes are perkier.

  • It has made me realize that you need to relax and stretch to make all the other exercise you do worthwhile.

  • It slows my brain down after a crazy day at work. And it has also changed the way I think about exercise - yoga treats the "whole body" in a way that few other things do.

  • Helps me breathe and relax!!

  • Yoga make me a much more grounded and calm person. I just feel so much better after doing it!

  • It has brought me closer to all that I am.

  • Yoga has transformed my life. I am a better wife, mother, and employee. It has made me calmer, more patient, and in physical terms has made me less achy and more flexible! Love it!

  • Yoga has helped me enjoy my life and not fear change, but embrace it with both hands!

  • Yoga has taught me that my life is a beautiful gift, always worth living. That everything is connected and no one is ever alone. It has awakened in me blissful compassion and grounded awareness that has helped me cope with illness, stress, and sorrow. It has affected me so positively and so profoundly that I am in training to become an instructor so I can pass the power of yoga onto others!

  • I am new to Yoga and it's been a great way for me to regroup and collect myself after the daily stresses and "busy-ness" of work - and life in general.

  • Yoga has taught me how to capture calm!

  • Yoga brings peace to my crazy days!

  • I took up yoga after a knee injury twelve years ago. My therapist had said to keep up with low impact exercises to give the knee muscular support. Prior to using yoga I had problems with my knee shifting painfully, and I was only in my thirties then! Ever since practicing yoga three or more times a week I no longer had problems with my knees. I also became more aware of my balance in other activities I enjoy, such as biking, mountain hiking, and alpine skiing. And best of all, my husband noticed the overall toning benefit to my shape and my self-confidence. I will keep yoga in my life always!

  • Yoga has made me more flexible, and given me better posture!

  • Because of yoga, I pandiculate every morning, happily. I feel like all the debris -mental, physical, and spiritual- is removed. It makes me feel pure, and agile, and compassionate. It reminds me to never abandon myself, but to breathe and acknowledge, to pick myself up and move forward.

  • Yoga has made me calmer, and with all the action in my life right now, I could sure use more of that!

  • It relaxes me, takes pressure off my joints, and strengthens my core. My posture and balance have improved so I also have a lot less aches n' pains. LOVE YOGA!!!

  • Two years ago, at age 30, I was diagnosed with ulcers... "the worst I've seen in my career" said the doctor. (I swear on my mothers life this is true). I was a ball of stress. Western docs' answers were to put me on meds including celexa and klonopin... I tried on my own to wean myself off and that didn't go so well. I ended up with a massive panic attack and withdrawl symptoms in the ER. Again, more Ativan... That's when I walked into a center for natural healing... I began accupuncture, meditation, herbal remedies, diet change, and yoga! Now I do yoga EVERY day before work and mediation every night before bed. I can't even put into proper words how amazing I feel! My friends and fam re probably tired of me going around waxing poetic about these practices... But I don't care :) .

  • It eases my back pain and helps me realign after a hectic day.

  • Om... Practicing Yoga has allowed me to manage my anxiety issues. Namaste.

  • Yoga has taught me to be present not only on the yoga mat, but also in everything I do off mat. It has taught me that I can let go and experience the sensation of relaxation whenever I need it and that the breath is my natural tranquilizer when anxiety or panic strikes. I feel strong, stable, nurtured and I am able to cultivate love for physical and emotional self because of my yoga practice.

  • Yoga has changed me in so many ways. After moving home from South Africa and putting a 3 year relationship on hold, I found myself once again on my mat. I started practicing everyday. I found the time on my mind not only gave me peace, but started to allow me to see things more clearly. Although I was in a loving relationship, I was not who I had been in the past. I was making excuses for my life and not taking charge. Since moving back and continuing to practice each and every day, along with morning meditations, I made some changes in my life. Re-enrolled in grad school, went to yoga teacher training (now certified!!!) and enrolled into the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I realized all the positive things in my life and what I could do to share that positivity with others. Yoga gives me the boost each day to think of the world in a lighter and brighter healthier way. It brings me joy, a sense of calmness, and an overall acceptance of my self and those around me. Although it still saddens me to think I am starting all over in some aspects of my life, yoga has given me the strength to not worry and realize I can meet my full potential. SO for now, I practice, and just take day by day with a smile and a light heart that I hope to share with others!

  • Yoga has taught me to breathe, not just in the practice, but in life. I stop to appreciate the beauty in all of the little things that the day brings.

  • IT's helped me find sanity as a new mom!

  • I love yoga.

  • Yoga reminds me daily that I am strong and powerful even within my struggles. I have learned from yoga that I can create and do more than I anticipate- all I need to do is start.

  • yoga helped me to feel stronger, so i can keep up better when hiking or biking with my mom.

  • Yoga is helping me recover from adrenal fatigue.

  • Yoga has helped me to be more aware of my health and I'm much more relaxed..It has also sparked my 6 year old daughter's interest and she wants to join me in my yoga sessions. I'm so proud to set that example for her..this new shared interest has started her on a path to better health..

  • Yoga has changed my life for the better. As a result of weekly sessions, I'm a much calmer person. I think clearly and am much more relaxed; I don't get aggravated quickly or snap at people out of anger or frustration. I'm able to see the brighter side of things and keep an optimistic outlook. Physically, I'm leaner and stronger, I'm faster and don't get winded when playing with my nephew or running after my dogs. I've also been able to reaffirm my spirituality and ground myself, enabling me to look at things with a whole new perspective; I am able to value the more important things in life and ignore what is really insignificant. Yoga is truly empowering and life altering, an essential part of my life.

  • Yoga has helped me to listen to my body, find its imbalances, know what exercises it wants, and open my crazy tight hips - which were causing my plantar fasciitis. Yoga makes healing fun.

  • yoga forces me to slow down and breathe. i take an hour out of the day and focus on myself. and the end result is wonderful: i feel more centered, balanced, and my rest is more complete. i'm so grateful i discovered yoga.

  • Yoga has given me the tools to deal with my anxiety in a natural & healthy way that makes me feel good about myself. It has been such a great outlet for me during those times in life where stress and worry overwhelm me. And yoga has not only changed my life when i'm on the mat, but also given me techniques that I can take to work or in the car with me- such as deep breathing. Yoga is the best :)

  • Yoga has the power to energize, relax, center and ground. Even as a Pilates instructor, I practice yoga because it's a great complement to my work and balances out my physical activity.

  • yoga has transformed my life! Stressed in a fast paced business world each day and now I've learned to incorporate yoga and meditation throughout my day...more focused on breathing, being in the moment, and my health has improved as a result. Flexible, focused, and fabulous!!!

  • Yoga has not only been a great physical activity for me, but has helped me relax and slow down in life. Even the first day I ever tried it years ago, I immediately felt more connected to the earth.

  • Yoga has taught me to listen and respect the signals my body, despite what my brainight be saying. :)

  • Yoga has healed me in so many ways - It has been so incredibly cleansing to me, allowing me to be a more uplifted and focused being. It has provided so much relief to my mental state, as I was struggling with quite a bit of depression and anxiety before. It has enhanced my sexual life, ;-) with my partner. It has also helped me in my teaching, as I work with children and have been able to impart a lot of the ideas, practices, and postures on to them. One of the greatest aspects of my yoga practice is that I have found a way to stay calm in my everyday living, (& found that that is obtainable in a very hectic, manic city!) AND I have totally taken pain off of my lower back. I had three herniated discs, and they have never felt better. I am so thankful for yoga! Thank you, as well, for this opportunity Gaiam. :-)

  • yoga has made me kinder and more available. before starting my practice i was a bit selfish (i can admit that now!). since getting into yoga almost 6 months ago, i have become more caring and kinder to those around me. my feelings and needs are no longer the only ones i consider! as far as physical improvements go, yoga has given me greater flexibility and strength... i honestly believe that the stronger my body gets, the stronger my mind will become. i just love yoga and hope to keep with it for the rest of my days! thanks :)

  • I am regularly practicing yoga at this time although not advanced yoga which I hope to get to that point some day. Yoga has helped me to flourish mentally and emotionally as well as physically. I am mental health counselor and where I am constantly checking in with others emotions sometimes I forget to tap into my own emotions and the way my body is feeling. Yoga helps me to regulate stress in my life and offers a form of support by meeting others in yoga classes. I also have fibromyalgia and I was diagnosed in 2007 and I am now 30. I have had many ups and downs emotionally and physically since then and I find that yoga relieves my symptoms to a degree where I am tapping into my emotions and my body and it also helps me to practice mindfulness techniques and to live in the moment with myself during practice which can be hard to do at times. So overall it has helped with my health, mentality, emotions, recognizing my body and making me more aware of its capabilities, providing me with confidence,and allowing me to live in the moment and to let go when in practice. It has also helped me as a clinician as I find myself to be more calm which helps me to perform better when counseling others. Yoga has been a blessing for me in so many ways and I will continue to practice.

  • Yoga should be part of everyone's daily life!

  • It helps me Stop and Breathe! Stops the rushing from this to that. Very relaxing and i have better posture. Reminds me to take care of myself in other ways as well.

  • Yoga gave me an opportunity to live in my body in ways I didn't even know I was missing! On good days, bad days, and everywhere in between, it provides me with a place for reflection and rejuvenation.

  • Yoga has changed in so many ways. Since I started practicing yoga over a year ago, I have felt more at ease, less stressed and healthier. I feel stronger and more determined to live a healthier lifestyle. I also have Crohn's disease, and since I started practicing yoga, I have been declared in remission just this past January, after years (13) of constant battle. Coincidence? I think not :)

  • Yoga is change. During my practice I am able to let go of my judgements and expectations. To tune into what is happening with me, with my body. To let go of the want and focus on need. To think about what is right and possible for me. Ironically, by making my world a little smaller and having a purely internal focus for an hour--I feel able to better focus on the larger world. Applying some of the same principals, trying to let go of judgement and be in the moment. Be present. Yoga changes me every time I practice, and for that, I am grateful!

  • It helps me to relax and breathe. Also helped me become an injury free runner!

  • Yoga makes it all better! It has helped to relieve lower back pain, helped me to focus on my breath, and provided me with the tools (focus on breath) to deal with any situation.

  • Yoga has made my life better by reducing my stress, as a college student who works full time in a group home I have a lot of stress. The relaxing exercise is really important to me.

  • So many changes from doing yoga! I'm ten times more flexible than I used to be. I feel more grounded and confident. After each yoga class I feel like I've hit the refresh button on my brain - I'm more focused and centered. And my body is physically stronger. Yay for yoga!

  • Yoga showed me how important it is to BREATHE!

  • Yoga has enabled me to reach farther into the depths of my consciousness.
    As an early childhood educator- it can sometimes be very hard to stay in the moment, and calling upon my practice helps me to enjoy the experience as it is happening! It has also helped instill a sense of calm, which I swear the kids are able to sense. :)

  • I've been doing yoga for several years now and it has helped me in many ways and truly is for the body, mind, and spirit. I have asthma and the deep breathing techniques I have learned with yoga have helped me keep it under control, not needing the medication as much. It has helped me recover and regain my strength after several months of bedrest during three pregnancies - in more ways than one. The stretching and using my own body as a weight was a gentle way of regaining the strength my muscles had lost, but it was also an outlet for my spirit and mind as I recovered in other ways when 2 of those pregnancies didn't end as I had planned. Pregnancy number 3 ended well and I now enjoy strapping my 13 month old son, Henry, into his Moby Wrap as we do yoga together and I am able to share the experience with him.

  • Yoga is my sanity!

  • I am new to yoga however I am already seeing major positive changes in my life. I am learning to appreciate each moment. It is helping me reduce stress, both mental and physical. I know I have so much more to learn and welcome the possibilities. Breathe!

  • To declutter my life and find myself. Yoga has taught my mind to be strong; I have learned that hard work and dedication pays off. My breath during yoga carries me through difficult times with a sense of calmness and the knowledge that everything always works out. I have learned to simply be a better me because of yoga.

  • I've been doing yoga since I was a teenager, but it was after I was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma a couple of years ago that I became a devotee. Yoga helped me get deeply in touch with my health, and for the very first time, I knew that my mind, body and soul were completely in line. During my 60 - 90 minute classes I felt so strongly that I was nurturing myself and it was a sense of control that I honestly think helped me survive. I've been cancer-free for two years, and absolutely count yoga as a reason.

  • Yoga has invited me to be aware of my body in a whole new way! I am much more present within myself.

  • Yoga helped me understand that fitness wasn't just about strength - it is also about flexibility.

  • The last few years I have been under incredible stress with taking care of my two children ages 6 and 2 and taking care of my parents all while working full time and attending graduate school. Yoga has allowed me to nurture myself and has allowed me to become more minful of breathing and letting go of stress. Yoga has forever changed my life for the better.

  • It has certainly helped my moods overall. Also, during my pregnancy, it has been a big help with pain in my sciatic nerve! It's about the only thing that is helping with the pain!

  • Yoga helps me clear my mind, usually when working out whether it's lifting weights or cardio my mind tends to wander with Yoga keeps me focused. I love Yoga and do it at least 3x's a week!!! For me it's a Godsend.

  • Yoga made me aware of how inflexible my body was and that it was possible overtime to change that.

  • Yoga helps me in....Surviving cancer, surviving business crises, helping to retain tranquility through the turmoils of life, giving me balance, and allowing me the freedom to move beyond what tries to hold me down.

  • Yoga has really helped increase my flexibility and strength. I am more physically active now since I enjoy yoga and don't avoid it like I avoided working out at the gym.

  • Yoga has helped me connect with my community. The 15 unrushed minutes on the mat before class is my sweet spot in the day. I check in with myself, sure, but I also know the struggle of the pregnant mother beside me trying yoga at the suggestion of her fertility doctor so she can keep this pregnancy, the older gentlemen who is trying to get off his blood pressure meds, the 20 something's who can be themselves without judgment here in this space with no mirrors or critical voices. We're all dealing with our own stuff on our own mat. But I feel a greater sense of understanding of those around me in my day to day because I get to know the other voices sharing the "om."

  • Yoga helped me through two difficult pregnancies. It made my back pain manageable. It helped me to focus on the end result, not on the morning sickness and exhaustion.

  • Yoga has taught me to have patience with myself and had helped me to develop an awareness of my physical,emotional, and spiritual self.

  • Better breathing and flexibility.

  • Yoga has connected me to an inner stillness that I didn't realize I had, as well as helping heal me so that I can pursue racing goals. It's become an essential part of my exercise regimen.

  • Yoga has been an enriching physical and mental challenge for me. I am most grateful for how practicing yoga has given me the ability to be mindful throughout my day and to appreciate each moment for what it is instead of obsessing over how to make it most productive.

  • Yoga has helped and transformed me in so many ways. The most important is helping tremendously with my daily FM pain.

  • Yoga has made me more flexible and helped build strength in my core and legs which has minimized back issues I had for years. The focus and awareness it has brought to me is amazing! It has also given me a wonderful activity to enjoy with both my adult daughters!

  • I only started doing yoga about 2 weeks ago, but the change has been drastic and amazing. I used to have this incredible sense of road rage during my daily commute. I would laze around in my PJs until almost noon on the weekends. I didn't care much about the state of my body, and I had this block of mental and emotional angst that I just couldn't work around. But since I started doing yoga, I feel whole. I feel grounded. My actions feel purposeful, and my days feel like they have meaning. I've lost 7 lbs and haven't honked the horn in my car once. I work with computers, and by the end of the week my back was always killing me. Yoga has improved my posture, and now my back feels fine.

  • it has reminded me to stay in the moment and to get comfortable in uncomfortable positions to breathe and center myself and open up to the abundance of love in the universe.

  • I am just starting yoga for my scoliosis. I don't yet have all the necessary thing I need for this but I am working on it.so far yoga is helping to relax the muscles in my back that have been so taught for so many years from my S curve. It also is giving my mind a sense of relaxation. I am hoping my teenage daughter will be joining me soon since we just found out that she too has scoliosis.

  • I have only recently started incorperating yoga into my daily routine. However, I already feel more energized, stronger, and more centered despite my hectic busy life as a working, single mother of three kids and student. Yoga helps me cope with my stresses in a manner that benefits me holistically. I cannot wait to see where the benefits of this lifestyle change will bring me.

  • Yoga has helped me to be centered and focused throughout my daily activities. I am a middle school teacher so many people benefit from my yoga. I believe yoga helps me to be patient and calm and provide a stress free atmosphere both for me and my students.

  • Yoga reminds me of my inner strength and makes me fear less

  • Yoga has given me strength; both physical and mental. It helps me to focus.

  • Yoga has taught me to appreciate my body and what it can do. I love the peace that yoga brings to me, and the joy that can be found in a single inhale-exhale.

  • Yoga really has changed me! At first the classes were simply relaxing, but as I have learned more and tried different styles of yoga, I am living the message to slow down, be present and be kind.

  • Yoga keeps me grounded. Whether it's a vinyasa power day or a restorative day or a 20 minute post run balancing workout, it helps to keep me centered and to stay focused on the important things in life.

  • Yoga has helped to ground me when I have needed it. I love the way my body feels long and stretched after I have done it it regularly for a while. I need to get back into a better yoga routine!

  • Practicing yoga is consistently, slowly & surely, helping re-shape my thought processes. Simply allowing something to be as it is, accepting who I am at the moment, and accepting others as they are ... all lessons from yoga. The physical piece of yoga is allowing me to accept my body as is, & actually appreciate my body for how it looks, moves, functions -- as a young woman, this was quite a struggle. I constantly look forward to my practice -- look forward to what I will learn, let go of, move on to. Lovely.

  • Yoga helps me feel more balanced, confident, and in charge of my own life!

  • Yoga has made me more self-aware and better able to handle life's little (and no so little) stresses. Being stronger and more flexible has also boosted my confidence and helped me enjoy other active pursuits more.

  • It's made me a calmer and more relaxed person!

  • Yoga is the base of my day. It puts my to-do list into perspective and calms my anxiety. It kicks off my morning with energy and the desire to eat whole foods during the day to maintain that energy and peaceful attitude.

  • Yoga makes me more tolerant, quiet, and sane.

  • In my yoga practice I take the time to breathe;connecting with my body and relaxing my mind. Yoga increases my overall body tone and builds muscle. It has increased my awareness and flexibility; both physically and mentally. At the end of my practice, while in the corpse pose, I reflect on all that I am grateful for and in the fetus pose, I remind myself that I have an empowered choice in everything I do, say and react to. It is part of my gratitude and intention process. Yoga multiple times a week has been one of my most supportive tools; creating vibrant energy which in turn creates and attracts my life's happy & Higheset expression of true purpose. I am changed internally and externally - Life is good!

  • Yoga helps me focus when I'm creating the novel of the century .. (!!!) ... as well as helps me to relax after a stressful day ... but most of all, aids in alleviating severe pain due to psoriatic arthritis.

  • Yoga time is my time alone, when I can focus on myself and be conscious of my breathing and posture and movements without any outside distractions. Afterwards I feel more relaxed, centered and aware, physically and mentally.

  • I began my yoga journey four years ago when I had open back surgery in order to have metal rods welded to my spine to correct my severe scoliosis. Ever since then yoga has helped me mentally and physically. Physically it was the first activity I could do after surgery, and has continued to be part of my every day exercise routine. Mentally, yoga has changed my whole outlook on life; I have truly learned to appreciate the small things, and if nothing else, slow down and realize my surroundings in the here and now. I have even had the opportunity to pass on my love of yoga to others by teaching at my high school as part of the Wellness initiative.

  • I definately need a stress outlet from work and yoga has been the only form of exercise that allows me to go forward in my day feeling calm, not reactive but responsive and also fit and toned. I love it because every session I discover something new about my body. The way it responds, moves,conforms and the way my muscles remember what to do. I am a calmer,more reflective person because of yoga!

  • It's so cliché, but yoga really HAS changed my life. I am a different person physically and emotionally. I'm going through a big life transition now and, despite everything, yoga has been so grounding for me. Yoga has really taught me to love myself and, in turn, to be more receptive to those around me. There isn't enough room in this little square to express the many ways that yoga has changed me, so here is a short ode to my favorite spiritual sport.
    Dear yoga,
    I wear you on my body like a toga.
    You are there for me when times are tough,
    And you help to make me buff.
    You remind me to breathe in and out,
    And put a smile on my face when I want to pout.
    You've taught me to love myself,
    And put stress and anxiety on the shelf.
    You've introduced me to a whole new world of friends,
    Other people with positive energy (and who like to bend!)
    You've given me a sense of home though I live across the sea,
    And you've helped me to appreciate every part of me.
    Some classes make me hustle,
    And others are relaxation for my muscles.
    I take you with me wherever I roam,
    Yoga, you are my OM away from home.
    So thank you to all of the Yogis before me, you are so wise,
    And I pray to you that I win this Gaiam Yoga Prize!

  • Yoga relaxes me and brings me peace. Bonus pints are good posture and a calm mind.

  • Yoga has made me calmer, more mindful and a better person all around. It is helping me battle insomnia and adrenal fatigue. I may not be the strongest or most flexible person in class -- but practicing yoga has made me totally okay with not being "the best." Instead I can focus on being the best version of myself.

  • Recently moving to a new town and stating a business I lost a bit of myself In the craziness. I started taking a class in my new town and it has made my transition much more manageable. I have learned through practice to approach every situation, and each day as a new, to have sength and confidence in my choices and my decisions and also learn to shut it all off and unwind at the end of the day. Yoga allows me to fit work outs into my busy schedule and I find it encouraging to turn to my mat after a long day, instead of dreading my work out I embrace every breath, every updog, and every om with light and enthusiasm.

  • My body is much more flexible, I have excellent balance, and I have much more stamina!

  • Yoga helped me recover from my broken ankle by strengthing it and bringing balance back into my body. It helped set a great base for my running and keeps me flexible.

  • Yoga has made me who I am, confident, going the extra mile, taking it easy and living in a relaxed yet mentally aware mode. Since I started doing yoga I haven't got angry again or feel frustrated, I feel I can fly, I feel me! Meditation helps me realign my life and focus on what's the need of today. And when I am in shavasana, I feel nothing besides the moment that I am in and it's every worth to enjoy.

  • Yoga has made me stronger and more mentally focused. I feel less stress in my life and feel the future can only get better

  • If I thought being a college student was difficult, I had no idea until I became a single mother WHILE in college. Between balancing keeping up with schoolwork, raising a toddler , working, and taking care of my mother who's health is declining at a steady pace, I kept trying to find time for me. What could I do that would balance ME? Something relaxing, centering , yet convenient enough for me to be able to practice at home ? aha.. I'm introduced to yoga via a new class offered on campus. Sure I've heard a few things about yoga, why not give it a shot? From day ONE I absolutely fell in love with the entire concept of yoga. 2 semesters of yoga later and now a regular session weekly, I can honestly say yoga has given me the opportunity to remain sane and stable through out almost all and any situation. Being able to go into myself and meditate to keep myself balanced has changed my life significantly. Before yoga I had a really short temper and stayed stressed out. Whereas now I'm slow to anger and appreciate the beauty in a lot of things I previously took for granted. Some people say yoga isn't beneficial BUT I challenge everyone to try it at least once because yoga DOES influence a more fluent, peaceful lifestyle. I'm sure without yoga , with the weight of everything I have to deal with personally I'm sure my health would be in danger due to complications from high blood pressure. Yoga is beautiful. Be beautiful. *namaste*

  • Yoga has taught me to breathe through life's uncomfortable moments, to trust my intuition, to see the strength that was always within me, and to always believe that life is beautiful.

  • How hasn't yoga changed me!?
    I was suffering with severe depression, self harm, and anger issues. After being diagnosed with scoliosis at 16, my doctor suggested gentle yoga. I'm now nearing my 30s free of scoliosis, anxiety medication, sleeping pills, and have never felt happier or healthier in my life.
    Yoga saved me in more ways I vet expected: physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.

    Namaste.

  • Yoga has changed me by helping with my flexibility and also the knots in my neck and back. The stretching of my muscles has really helped, and that means my migraines have improved!

  • Yoga has helped me to be more graceful, mindful and has helped me improve my posture.

  • Yoga has helped me reconnect with body, mind, & spirit...given me center, focus, strength, poise, flexibility & enabled growth.

  • It has centered me and makes me really stop and focus.

  • Yoga is a place of piece. Yoga has made my life more balanced and focused. I can go into a session and completely relax. Making me a less stressed person. And for all of that I would like to thank Yoga.

  • *place of peace

  • Yoga has made me stronger, healthier, happier, more confident, a better friend, a better daughter, a better person! I am so grateful for the gift I can give myself everyday on my mat. My lean and strong muscles are just a positive side effect of many other good things happening, but I can't complain that I love the way I look and feel.

  • It keeps me in tune with my body. The gym bludgeons you with TVs, music, fancy machines, etc. but with yoga it's just me and my body. It has enabled me to listen to my body and understand what is going on both internally and externally. I love it!

  • Yoga has been an integral part of my healing process, both physically and emotionally. I was hit by a rare "superbug" disease where I was admitted into the hospital for an emergency lung operation. Since then yoga has been the key to my recovery, one breathe at a time. I learned the importance of "prana" the limitless energy in the air and inner peace in mediation. Yoga has changed me into a being full of gratitude. I'm thankful everyday for the yoga gurus & teachers sharing this amazing life-changing system. Namaste ;)

  • i have been practicing yoga for eighteen years now, and of all the benefits my yoga practice has brought me, peace and calm, compassion, forgiveness, equanimity, mindfulness, meditation, silencing the inner critic to name a few, i'd have to say the biggest gift is learning to age with grace and ease, i am more comfortable in my body now than i was when i took to the mat at age 25, i have learned to be at peace with where i'm at on any given day, i have learned to calmly let go of poses when tweaks in my body are no longer allowing me to practice them. and this gift, this confidence has spread out in to every area of my life and allows this grace to move through all areas of my life

  • Yoga has flipped the definition of what I believed a workout had to be, following a life of avoiding physical exertion and obesity. Beyond just maintaining my physical health with vigorous exercise, yoga provides balance for my mind and spirit, healing my past and allowing me the courage to continue maintaining a positive 95-pound lifestyle change.

  • Yoga has helped me destress as both a hotline counselor and a law student.

  • Yoga makes me feel like a whole and embodied human being and not just some separate pieces somehow coexisting together.

  • Yoga has made me feel brand new. It has made me so aware of what my body is capable of as well as clearing my mind to ease. Yoga puts my body to work and comforts my stiff joints. Although I am a short person it makes me feel tall and strong. It is wonderful to envelop a body work out with meditation. Without yoga my body and mind would not benefit from what it had been missing, the fulfillment of my body's awareness.

  • I began practicing yoga after a serious knee injury. I was a skeptical, gimpy beginner; barely able to hold balancing stick pose without toppling over the person beside me. With determination and perseverance in my sights, downward dogs and warrior poses quickly became an everyday fix. Four years on I practice Vinyasa every morning and Hatha to wind down my day in the evening. I regularly attend Bikram classes to challenge and cleanse my body. I am an avid supporter of yoga and the astounding benefits it has brought into my life physiologically, psychologically and biochemically. I cannot sing enough praises as to how yoga has given me a sense of identity in myself, it has made me confident and complete.

  • Yoga has the lasting ability go help me achieve balance - with it my thoughts become action,my actions become good,healthful habits and now my days I live strong -cancer free and thriving...

  • I have been doing yoga for 13 years. It have transformed my life. No matter what situation occurs in my life yoga makes me feel better, stronger, more relaxed and ready to take on any challenge. Yoga is my mediation, my medicine and my exercise! It is an essential part of my life!

  • Yoga has given me a way to feel spiritual, without God or religion, which is something I've been searching for for several years. It gives me a way to feel centered and focused and calm, in the midst of a hectic life in a stressful city. Then as a bonus, I'm also more flexible and strong!

  • Being mindful in all that we do. Understanding how much more there is to life than what we get wrapped up in so easily on a daily basis.

  • Yoga has changed my way of life. After a busy life, running around with twins and keeping up with oldest school activities, yoga helps me balance everything. I feel much better. Much more flexible.

  • Having a child makes you feel all kinds of emotions--joy, intense love, happiness and insanity. After I had my son, who's now three, I thought two things: I'll never sleep again and I'll never feel like myself again. My own body felt strange to me, a few stretch marks showed up, the baby pouch remained well after baby had left it and some days felt like I was just treading water to stay afloat. Things changed after we got into a daily routine. My son would take a nap every afternoon and sleep for several hours. I would climb upstairs to the guest room, a large space and a different setting for me, which is what I needed. I would play a yoga DVD and just breath. I finally had time to myself, to be myself. Yoga was not only a way back to health, it was my daily deep breath. It was a way to find parts of myself that were set aside when my son was born. It really was a way back to finding myself. The yoga studio down the street from us offers pregnancy and postpartum yoga classes now, so if I get to experience the joy of having more children, I'll be lucky enough to enjoy yoga classes with other mothers, probably some first-timers. I'll be able to support them through the journey and share with them that practicing yoga really can make a difference for them.

  • It has made me more flexible and more centered.

  • When I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder earlier this year, I mourned the same way that we grieve for lost loved ones. I thought that my chance to have a normal and happy life had been lost, and my future was gray with the struggles I knew I would face. Yoga became part of a self-care routine, along with therapy and medication, that has allowed me to appreciate my life again. During a yoga practice, I feel relaxed and at ease, I let go of my judgments, and I feel I have respected and cared for body. It has become part of my life, replacing rumination with gratitude, and negativity for a drive to meet my goals.

  • yoga has changed me in so many ways. i breathe deeper. i think more clearly. i am more aware of my body and its abilities. with the help of yoga i continue to build the physical and emotional strength i need to cope with infertility.

  • Yoga clears my mind, settles my thoughts and strengthens my body.

  • Yoga has made me more aware of my body and how I feel, both phsyically and emotionally. My yoga practice has also given me the confidence to push myself to achieve more but has made me humble enough to admit when something is outside of my capablities

  • yoga centers me inthe present moment and brings a balance to all parts of my life. Everything else is better when my yoga practice is practiced daily. I am more whole: mind, body, and soul.

  • Yoga has made me more mindful of my own actions, given me peace of mind amid many stresses, and even helped me get in better shape and become more flexible. Best decision I ever made!

  • I am more tolerant and less anxious overall.

  • Yoga has made me more confident, stronger, flexible, and less stressed. I commute an hour to work and I'm a runner, so yoga helps me balance my life.

  • [...] impact exercise activities I previously enjoyed. I need … … Continue reading here: Enter to Win a Gaiam Yoga Prize Pack – Whole Living Daily : Whole … ← Tips on Finding a Houston Yoga Class | Anti-Aging and Yoga Yoga: The Glorious Purpose [...]

  • I did Yoga once as a teenager (64 now). I pulled something in my neck and was in bed for 3 days straight. LOL So I'd like to win this for my daugter. Thanks!

  • Yoga is healing me fro grief and loss in my life. The physical aspect of breathing, creates a quiet space within to reflect and heal. Namaste.

  • Yoga has made me so much more aware of my body, mind, and soul. It has awakened me to my inner wisdom and truth and taught me to observe without judgement. Everything is as it is, and we are all one.

  • Yoga has made me more calm and helped manage my ADD. I have always been a high stress person and it's very hard for me to keep focused. Yoga does something special for me - it calms my sole from within.

  • As a novice, I am feeling less aches and pains. I have a stronger core and better posture.

  • I have only tried once, but would love to make it part of my routine!

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  • It's made me much more flexible and calm

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