"I first came to yoga after many years of marathon running that had left my body battered. My doctor told me that I needed to find a lower impact workout or I would require knee and hip replacement surgery. I was 26 years old and petrified. I knew that I had been training hard, but didn't understand how my body couldn't handle it at such a young age. Not knowing where to turn, my physiotherapist recommended yoga. I went, not really knowing what to expect. And in the end, I got more than I could have ever dreamed of. Yoga taught me to respect my body after years of learning to push it beyond its limits. Yoga taught me to listen to my body, to respect what it needs, and learn the connection between my mind and my body. Slowly I saw myself getting stronger. And with that came my mental and emotional well-being as well. Yoga taught me to love myself for the journey that I'm on now, and to be patient with myself and others. It taught me to celebrate my successes, and the successes of others, in a society that generally pushes for competition, jealousy and resentment. It taught me to breathe at the moments when your mind and body are telling you not to, and to take risks and have fun. Although these are all the lessons of yoga, we are encouraged to take these lessons "beyond the mat" and to the world outside. In the past three years I have noticed I can handle stress better and am more at peace. "