How to Be a Yogi — On and Off Your Mat

By: Gigi Woodall


Hi, my name is Gigi and I’m addicted to yoga.

When I was fifteen, I started practicing yoga on days that I didn’t want to work out, because I saw it as more of a stretching class than exercise. Little did I know, yoga would become the basis of my core principles, especially in terms of how to live.

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It wasn’t until my junior year of high school that I started getting really into yoga. I remember going to a class three days in a row — something foreign to my mind and body – and feeling like the most relaxed spaghetti noodle in the entire world.  I began practicing hot yoga, a class held in a 105 degree, 50% humidity room. Each class made me feel like I sweat out every single cheeseburger I’ve consumed in my entire life. I considered myself a yogi even then, but I’ve since transformed entirely.

Practicing yoga everyday provides community, both at my main studio and on social media. It’s comforting to have a source of inspiration and encouragement at my fingertips, popping up on my various newsfeeds.  I follow many famous Instagram yogis like Allie Michelle and Sjana Elise for inspiration, and have my own yoga account with my mom to express our creativity (shout out to our 58 loyal followers!). Even though it’s mainly used to promote the yoga classes she teaches, our mutual love for yoga and her lack of ability to work Instagram in a “trendy” way has brought us closer.

Yoga completely consumes my mind, body, and soul. I didn’t begin practicing yoga with the intention of becoming a yogi, but years later I can see how it has positively affected my physical and mental well-being. I’ve begun to see the real, noticeable changes yoga has spurred in me through my practice, but also in my life off the mat: I have more self-confidence, motivation, and passion.

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