When I first started yoga, it was for all the wrong reasons. I worked with two gorgeous women with lovely toned bodies, beautiful gait and a tremendous sense of self awareness. I would watch them stretch their arms into urdhva hastasana several times a day with the grace of a dancer and the strength of an ox, expanding their lungs synchronising their movements with their strong smooth breath. They spoke of interesting foreign words such as ujjayi, asana and savasana.
How I longed to feel what they felt when they would say things such as “my shoulders are tight today” or my “hamstrings are finally releasing.” I’d check in with my soft, stiff body and felt nothing but numbness, my head would race- are my shoulders tight, where are my hamstrings and how can these women speak with such ease and understanding of their lovely bodies?
So, I decided to go to a yoga class. I was hooked I was like a drug addict that only needed a drug once and was addicted for life. From that first class threes classes a week weren’t enough, I read everything I could find on yoga and slowly without even realising things changed in me.
Rather than obsessing and stressing about things out of my control I thought ‘why bother’ and I let them go (for the most part). I found contentment in just sitting and doing nothing, a beautiful cup of tea became a joy, absolute joy, rather than a cup of tea. I was able to give up cigarettes without any trauma, I just stopped.
My body grew hard and strong, instead of despising my thighs and thinking they resembled Christmas ham’s, I loved them. I loved them in Virabhadrasana 2, in handstand when they launched my feet off the floor up in the air. Off the mat I still loved them when they walked me all over the city and helped me crouch to weed in my garden. I learnt to scan my body in the mornings, to check in and see how it felt, physically and emotionally.
3 years on, my practice is daily even if the asana component is sputa padangusthasana in front of the TV after a long day, or jathara parivartanasana in bed first thing in the morning, I always find time for a couple of downward facing dogs and forward virasana, though a good day is an hour of asana, pranayama and meditation.
My yoga isn’t all headstands and chanting it is also the perfect cup of tea, a rainbow or a beautiful sunset, yoga has enriched my life in so many ways I can find the joy in these little things. I dip in the freezing ocean, a cuddle with my cat, a laughing fit with my beautiful man or the perfect quinoa and pumpkin salad.
So tell me where do you find yoga?