After hibernating for most of the winter and (not) enjoying long meaningless daily walks on my treadmill…in my basement for months :(…..I felt I had to turn my attention elsewhere for my daily work out. I don’t like gyms. They are often loud and uninspiring.
But I love yoga! Or should I say loved yoga, when I was practising it 15 years ago…
Yoga has been on mind for years. Always wanting to return to it, but “too busy” to find the time. I reminisced on how it made me feel; leaving the yoga studio, drained but so satisfied.
Small children, and a job that took a lot from me…..I just didn’t prioritise my need. Because that is what it was…a need. Whether physical or psychological, I wasn’t sure at the time, but now I do.
If you’ve read my previous posts, you know how much I value education, and more specifically, self education and development. The essence of every human being is to evolve of course, and this we do every day based on all of the experiences we live.
Yoga had left its mark many years ago….I had to reach out to it again.
You have to understand something about me. There is no 50%. I put my heart into everything I do. When I decide to pursue an idea….I just do.
I set my sights on hot yoga, a practice I had not tried yet: Moksha Yoga. I find the right studio for me…and my new journey begins.
My first class after 15 years of not practicing?
When I first walked into the studio, my first thought was “whoa”… will I be able to breathe in here? At 40 C and 40% humidity, hot yoga studios try to replicate the temperatures of warm countries, like India, where yoga originated.The heat also provides support and helps muscles expand more easily, as well as burn more calories in the process.
The challenge was going to be the heat. I hadn’t even started and already I wanted to step outside for some fresh air. But I didn’t. So here I was in Child’s pose, and moving towards my next asana…and then the next and the next. A sweaty ordeal, literally, but loving every second of it.
The sweat begins almost instantly. Trying to synchronise my breathing with my poses proved to be an even bigger challenge than the heat. Breathing is an essential part of any yoga practice. Without correct breathing, it’s not yoga.
Every class has taught me something so far. Things I had not given importance to, now seem apparent, logical, and necessary for my personal growth.
The 3 things I learned so far
1.Being in the moment
This is a difficult one dear readers. Being in the moment is so much more difficult than it sounds. This art extends to mindfulness , or meditation, and it is no secret that people take years to master it.The first step, as I mentioned earlier, is learning to understand my breathing pattern. Then, clearing my mind of the “to do lists” for that one hour.
The concept of the chakras, or energy centres of the human body, explains that our bodies hold seven energy centres that run from the base of our spine to the top of our head. Yoga helps the chakra energy flow as it clears the blockages in our body, and breathing is essential in opening the energy flows. As I become more confident in my poses, this will come more easily as well.
2. Liking myself more
As I move through the poses, and look around for some direction the first day, I notice… all bodies are beautiful. I see the muscles and nerves moving in my body, and I observe the same in others. Many shapes and sizes fill the room. They are all beautiful in their poses. I like myself more every time I attend a class. I accept my body more.
3. Challenging myslef & recognizing my limits
I did tell you I give 100% in everything I do right? Well, generally this is a great way to achieve success in almost anything, except yoga, at least not at first.
I learned not to rush, as sometimes goals can be achieved faster and more safely taking the time to listen to your body, and understanding its limits.
I challenge myself with every class, stretching a little further, or holding a pose a little longer. At the same time I am learning to listen to my intuitive voice, becoming more prominent every time I attend a class.
There is no competition in yoga, there is not prejudice nor comparisons. It’s about you and understanding and accepting yourself.
Yoga is not only a gift for your body, but for your mind and your soul as well.
My “need” were actually “needs”. I needed to replenish my body, but also my mind.
Going back to my first class…
Unbeknownst to me, I had just finished an intermediate moksha flow class. But it was ok. It was a flow class, faster but I loved the way it made me feel. Leaving the class, my legs unsteady, and my heart beating fast, I knew there was no holding me back from pursuing this journey.
As I educate myself on what my limits are, and embrace the practice of yoga further, I find myself practising asanas at home, and reading more about not only its benefits, but its history and origins. It is all quite fascinating. Perhaps I will write a post about this another time….as I learn, I hope to educate others as well.
I am now reading Lauren Imparato’s book “Retox”. For those of you who are not familiar with this larger than life yoga instructor (I’m sorry Lauren, this label is truly minimizing who you are and what you do !)….Lauren is one of the most knowledgeable people in the field of yoga today. She is not simply an instructor, but a true guru in my eyes. Her years of studies of the human anatomy have led her to create a yoga style more adaptable to today’s lifestyle. One that encompasses healthy life choices, including the foods you love that are also good for you, and a fearless attitude towards life.
I hope to share more of these lessons with you soon! Education is power.
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