Yoga helped me learn to love my body for the first time. After years of struggling with loving my body I finally tried yoga, and did it even when it was uncomfortable. I had always hated on yoga, for reason such as "its not a real workout", "its too slow pace", "only yuppies or hippies practice yoga", and finally "I don't burn enough calories during yoga, its a waste of time".
For many years I was an avid runner, or perhaps an addicted runner that wouldn't let up. I started running in high school as a means to fit in and loose weight. Running in fact help me accomplish both goals, so my logic was that if I run more, run before practice, stay late at practice, run everyday, and so on that my goals would be exponentially achieved. And that worked, for awhile, and even when it didn't I kept trying to make it work, because after all it worked before. In this way, I was just like an addict, chasing that first "high" that I had gained from running.
There is a lot of "story" in between this point in time and to where I began to love yoga, so for time sake I'll fast forward the time line to then.
So I start practicing yoga because my therapist at the time stated that it would be a great practice in mindfulness. With time, yoga taught me to create space for me to feel my feelings, to treat my body as a vessel of love rather than an enemy to despise. I went to classes that focused on the breath work and had no mention of "six-pack abs". I felt the connection and safety I needed to in that time—I was vulnerable, but supported and I loved it. I learned about the Sutras and Tapas and felt a spiritual connection that I have cut myself away from during the obsession with food and my body shape.
Healthy mind and exercise collided for me when I began yoga and I am so grateful for my practice. So much in fact that I became a yoga teacher myself to help give back the connect and safety I felt to others.